January 26, 2022

Israel carried out airstrikes on Syrian port of Latakia

Israeli airstrikes hit the Syrian port of Latakia on Tuesday (December 28), according to Syrian state media. This is the second such attack this month against a strategic installation in the country. “At around 3:21 am, the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack with several missiles in the direction of the Mediterranean (…) targeting the container yard in the port of Latakia”, notably reported the Syrian news agency SANA, citing a military source. The attack caused “significant material damage” and resulted in fires, the agency said.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Syrian territory since the start of the civil war in 2011, targeting government positions as well as Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters. On December 7, Israel had already launched strikes against an Iranian arms shipment in the port of Latakia. It was the first attack on the port since the start of the war, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), a UK-based NGO.

Israeli missiles then targeted “straight an Iranian arms shipment to the container terminal” inside the port, which resulted in “violent explosions and consequent material damage, without causing victims”, according to OSDH, which has an extensive network of sources in the country at war. This bombardment set fire to “a number of commercial containers”, without causing any victims, SANA had specified, evoking a “riposte” Syrian air defenses.

“We do not comment on foreign media information”, said for his part a spokesman for the Israeli army, asked about the strikes on Tuesday. The Jewish state rarely comments on strikes it carries out against its northern neighbor, but has repeatedly said it will not allow its enemy, Iran, to expand its influence in Syria. Iran, considered the main regional ally of the Syrian regime, has provided political, economic and military assistance to Damascus since the start of the conflict.

Israel has recently stepped up the frequency of its strikes in Syria. On November 24, for example, three soldiers as well as two Syrian militiamen affiliated with Hezbollah were killed in a previous series of strikes targeting areas where pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah is established in central Syria according to OSDH. . According to a report from the Israeli army, the latter struck around 50 targets in Syria in 2020.