Images shown on the Hezbollah Manar Television station said to be the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on the suburbs of Damascus, Syria. Israel is being backed up by the Obama administration in its aggression against Syria., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Israel jets strike Syria military base: US official
Fri Nov 1, 2013 3:7AM GMT
An unnamed US government official says that Israeli warplanes have struck a military base in western Syria.
The official said on Thursday that the Israeli warplanes struck the base near the coastal city of Latakia, Reuters reported.
Neither Israel nor Syria have commented on the report.
Israel has carried out strikes on Syria several times this year. Damascus says the attacks were aimed at helping the foreign-baked militants fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
On January 30, the Syrian army said two people were killed and five others injured in an Israeli airstrike on a research center in Jamraya, near Damascus.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.
On October 7, the UN said over four million other Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 due to the escalating conflict in the country.
Two million Syrians are expected to take refuge outside the country while another 2.25 million are predicted to be internally displaced next year.
31 October 2013
Last updated at 21:50 ET
Syria conflict: Israel 'carries out Latakia air strike'
Israeli aircraft have carried out a strike near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, a US official says.
The official said the strike targeted Russian-made missiles intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Latakia is a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an important port city where the Alawite community to which he belongs is concentrated.
Israel is widely reported to have carried out at least three air strikes in Syria so far this year.
Reports of the strike came as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said all Syria's declared equipment for making chemical weapons had been destroyed, one day before a deadline.
Action by the OPCW was agreed following allegations, denied by the Syrian government, that its forces had used chemical weapons in civilian areas - and after the US and France threatened military intervention.
A US official said the Israeli strike took place overnight from Wednesday into Thursday.
Reports circulated on Thursday of explosions near Latakia, but the cause was not clear.
"Several explosions were heard in an air defence base in the Snubar Jableh area," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist network.
Neither Israel nor Syria have commented on the reports.
One unnamed US official told the Associated Press that the missiles targeted by Israel were Russian-made SA-125s.
Israel has repeatedly said it would act if it felt Syrian weapons, conventional or chemical, were being transferred to militant groups in the region, especially Hezbollah.
The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the reports come at a delicate moment, with the Russians - who apparently made the weapons that Israel is said to have targeted - working closely with the US to get a peace conference on Syria off the ground.
Russia has been a key backer of President Assad's, continuing to supply his government with weapons during the conflict in Syria.
Mr Assad had promised to respond to any future strikes by Israel.
On ThursdayI, the OPCW said in a statement that its teams had inspected 21 of the 23 chemical weapons sites in Syria.
It said two sites were too dangerous to visit, but equipment from those sites had already been moved to places where it could be inspected.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told the BBC that his government was co-operating, and was making a contribution to freeing the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction.
"I hope those who have always thought of us negatively will change their minds and understand that Syria was, is, and will be always a constructive partner," Mr Mekdad said.
Syria's next deadline is mid-November, by which time the OPCW and the Syrians must agree a detailed plan to destroy the country's chemical weapons stockpile.
Syria has until mid-2014 to destroy the chemical weapons themselves.
Syria's arsenal is believed to include more than 1,000 tonnes of the nerve gas sarin, the blister agent sulphur mustard and other banned chemicals, stored at dozens of sites.
The uprising against Mr Assad began in 2011. More than 100,000 people have been killed and more than two million people have fled the country, according to the UN.