Thursday, August 1, 2013

(En) Israel strike in Syria missed some anti-ship missiles

Alleged Israeli Strike Site in Latakia
U.S. intelligence believes an alleged Israeli airstrike near Latakia on July 5 failed to destroy all of the Russian-made anti-ship missiles that were its target, The New York Times reports
At least some of the missiles were moved before the attack.

U.S. intelligence analysts have determined that a recent alleged Israeli airstrike on an arms storage site in Syria did not destroy all of the Russian-made anti-ship cruise missiles that were its target, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Subsequently, according to the report, American officials believe more Israeli strikes in Syria are likely.

The Israel Air Force reportedly bombed a Hezbollah-controlled warehouse near Latakia on July 5, with the goal of eliminating a cache of Yakhont missiles that Russia had sold to Syria. According to American intelligence analysts quoted by the New York Times, the warehouse was destroyed, but at least some of the missiles had been moved from the site before the attack.

The U.S. officials quoted in the report declined to be identified, because the information is classified.

According to American intelligence reports cited by the New York Times, Bashar Assad's regime tried to hide the fact that the missiles had been missed by setting fire to launchers and vehicles at the site, giving the impression that a crushing blow had been dealt.

The Pentagon did not respond to a New York Times request for comment. Israel has always refrained from commenting on pre-emptive military actions it has taken.

Israel has said it won't interfere in the civil war in Syria, but has also emphasized that it won't permit advanced weaponry to be transferred from Syria to Hezbollah. Israel has reportedly carried out several airstrikes this year to prevent such transfers.

Israel considers the Yakhont missiles to be a threat to its naval ships.

American officials provided The New York Times with new details of the July 5 airstrike near Latakia, saying it had been carried out by IAF planes that flew over the eastern Mediterranean Sea and fired air-to-ground missiles, never entering Syrian airspace.

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