Source: Tyler Durden
In the second such major attack, this month on Syria’s key northern city, the port of Latakia was struck overnight by multiple Israeli missiles, erupting in huge fireballs and massive damage, with the blaze appearing to burn into the morning and even afternoon hours of Tuesday.
Syrian state SANA described that “At around 3:21 am (05:21 GMT), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression with several missiles from the direction of the Mediterranean… targeting the container yard in Latakia port.” SANA also said there was damage to a nearby hospital.
By many accounts, this marked a much larger strike compared to a similar attack on the port weeks ago. Likely Israeli warplanes flying over the Mediterranean launched the attack, while some reports suggested cruise missiles.
“Live footage aired by state television showed flames and smoke in the container terminal,” according to further details in Al Jazeera.
Latakia port still burning today pic.twitter.com/QkPfGCeibD— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) December 28, 2021
“Later on Tuesday, the Syrian government’s media office said emergency services brought under control fires that had broken out in the port’s container storage area.” the report added.
Fires raged through the day Tuesday, with some eyewitnesses saying they burned out of control for at least fourteen hours.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, and any possible injuries remain unclear. Israel has not commented on the strikes, which is typical in the aftermath of its semi-regular attacks on Syria.
Importantly, attacks on Latakia – which were a rarity during prior years of Israeli operations inside Syria – are very risky given there’s a major Russian airbase a mere dozen miles to the south of the port.
Closer video from Latakia port showing the Israeli cruise missile impacts pic.twitter.com/6QdG6b9mJB— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) December 28, 2021
Likely Russia’s defense forces see such aggression as coming dangerously close to its assets and personnel; however, in the recent past, Moscow has appeared to greenlight Israel’s ability to target “Iranian weapons shipments” and fighters.
In the port of Syrian Latakia, 7 hours after the attack, the containers are still burning. Significant material damage was caused pic.twitter.com/WloJaS5sy5— Spriter (@spriter99880) December 28, 2021
In this case, it’s unclear if Tel Aviv is alleging that Iranian or Hezbollah weapons shipments are being transferred through the port, which has been the suggestion of some Israeli media reports, but there’s also the dual purpose of perpetuating a campaign of economic warfare on Damascus, by choking its vital resources and going after key national infrastructure.