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Did Israel just destroy Syrian depot holding Russian missiles?

Did Israel just destroy Syrian depot holding Russian missiles?

Another “who bombed it” mystery in Syria

This is another Syrian “who bombed it” mystery.

What is not disputed is that a major Syrian arms depot in the town of Latakia in the Alawite region was destroyed (h/t Israel Matzav, also here).

The Syrian rebels says Israel destroyed a large weapons depot which stored components of the Russian S300 air defense system, via Israel Hayom:

The Free Syrian Army claimed Monday that the Israel Air Force had destroyed a warehouse holding Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles east of the city of Homs in western Syria. The rebels’ claim has not been corroborated by any other independent source.

In a Facebook post titled “The new Israeli strike,” the rebels alleged that “the brave Syrian regime has conceded that a new Israeli strike targeted a warehouse containing Russian S-300 missiles and launchers. The facility was located in the al-Qassia camp, near the town of al-Hafa, east of Homs.”

And also possibly Yakhont anti-ship missiles, via Jerusalem Post:

Foreign forces destroyed advanced Russian anti-ship missiles in Syria last week, rebels said on Tuesday – a disclosure that appeared to point to an Israeli raid.

Qassem Saadeddine, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, said a pre-dawn strike on Friday hit a Syrian navy barracks at Safira, near the port of Latakia. He said that the rebel forces’ intelligence network had identified newly supplied Yakhont missiles being stored there.

Hezbollah and Syria say Israel didn’t do it, it was Syrian rebels firing rockets:

Al-Qaida was responsible for the massive arms depot explosion in Latakia over the weekend, a Syrian official said on Sunday. Syria denied Israel’s role in the incident after Arab media outlets reported conflicting stories on the cause of the blast.

“The attack in Latakia was not carried out from the air or the sea, but by a terrorist group aligned with al-Qaida,” a senior Syrian official told Syrian state media. “The group fired missiles of European design that caused large fires in the bases.”

Some Arab outlets reported that foreign aircraft had bombed the site and others that it was destroyed by missiles fired from boats. The reports estimated that 10 to 20 Syrian soldiers were killed in the strike.

Lebanese media outlets reported that the target was a weapons storage depot. Beirut-based newspaper Al-Akhbar reported that the attack was apparently carried out using cruise missiles fired from war ships.

Meanwhile, Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah’s TV station Al-Manar denied that Israel stood behind the attack, placing the blame on Syrian rebels. According to Al-Manar, rebels fired at least three missiles at the base and caused heavy damages.

Of course there is every reason for Syria not to say it was Israel.

Assad has vowed to retaliate for any new Israeli raids after Israel destroyed Syrian weapons destined for Hezbollah in early May, and if Assad asserted it was Israel this time he would box himself into action he may not want to take.

So another “who bombed it” mystery in Syria.


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shortwave8669 | July 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm

G-d bless the IAF

It’s a good start.

Well, it’s perfectly clear Israel either did or didn’t do it, so I’m happy that’s straightened out.

Henry Hawkins | July 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Not so fast……. MSNBC is reporting that George Zimmerman did it.

The IAF did ground their F16 and F15 fleet reportedly because of an earlier F16 crash, which many strategists thought could be a ruse to allow time for crew chiefs to outfit planes for a possible strike in Iran.

radiofreeca | July 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Ouch! that’s a lotta money (and presumably trained technicians) up in smoke. The technicians will be harder to replace than the missiles, I suspect. Though I have to observe: (1) why would Syria store missiles within range of attack, and not in missile-proof bunkers? (2) The FSA doesn’t have big, accurate rockets (that I’ve read about, anyways). Can anyone confirm location of FSA v. the site that blew up? Could the FSA have even been able to reach it?

This is what a real strike is…allow your enemy to claim a victory against another enemy. Just sit in the patio and sip a martini and smile

Low-altitude ocean approach? Hit the right target multiple times, then skedadled without loss?

Yup, sounds like the IAF.

Carol Herman | July 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Well, it could’a been a work accident? “Hey, Achmed, stop tossing your matches over your shoul …. BOOM.

Sign “No Smoking Allowed” written by the same team that wrote the FLORDIA signs on I-95.

And, IF it was the IAF, were they using the American made F-16’s? Those engines are not built to last.

The Israeli’s have a custom version of the F16 which oresumably has engines they can service better as well.

I think Assad just gave the green light for more ops with his denial 😉

Gremlin1974 | July 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm

“Did Israel just destroy Syrian depot holding Russian missiles?”

God I hope so.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Is Syria last month’s hot spot? I am waiting for the Op pieces by Arab paid mouthpieces to appear in western dailies. Then I will believe exactly the opposite. Works every time.

Juba Doobai! | July 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Al Qaeda-committed rebels blamed Israel? That’s the standard ME playbook: If anything goes wrong blame da Juice. Sounds like another workplace accident.

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