Israel hits Syrian port for second time this month


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© Reuters. Firefighters douse flames after Syrian state media reported an Israeli missile attack in a container storage area, at Syrian port of Latakia, Syria, in this handout picture released by SANA on December 28, 2021. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

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CAIRO (Reuters) – Israel launched an air strike on the Syrian port of Latakia on Tuesday, setting ablaze the container storage area and damaging nearby buildings in a second attack on the facility this month, Syrian state media reported.

An Israeli military spokesperson declined to comment. “We don’t comment on foreign reports,” the spokesperson said.

The Syrian reports made no mention of any casualties.

Israel has mounted frequent attacks against what it says are Iranian targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have deployed over the last decade in support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Citing a military source, Syrian state news agency SANA said Israel had carried out the air strike targeting the container storage area at 3.21 a.m. (0121 GMT), causing a fire and leading to “big material damages”.

Fire fighters were working to extinguish the blaze, SANA cited the head of the Latakia fire brigade as saying. The containers targeted in the strike contained oils and spare parts for machines and cars, it quoted him as saying.

Footage aired by the Syrian state TV showed flames and smoke in the container area.

Citing its correspondent, state-run broadcaster al-Ikhbariya said a number of residential buildings, a hospital and a number of shops and tourist facilities had been damaged by the power of the blasts.

Russia, which has been Assad’s most powerful ally during the war, operates an air base at Hmeimim some 20 km (12 miles) away from Latakia.

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