Israel blamed for attack in Syria

By Josh Jackman, July 10, 2013
Free Syrian Army fighters (Photo: Rodrigo Abd)

Free Syrian Army fighters (Photo: Rodrigo Abd)

Syrian rebels are seemingly blaming Israel for an attack on a government navy barracks which was reportedly holding long-range missiles.

Qassem Saadeddine, a spokesperson for the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters that the explosion on Friday near the Western port of Latakia was “either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”

He went on to say his intelligence showed that a new batch of Yakhonts, advanced Russian anti-ship missiles, was being stored at the site.

Israeli officials have previously expressed fears that such weaponry could fall either into the hands of Hizbollah or terrorists in Gaza.

Mr Saadeddine also declared that his group had no involvement, stating: "It was not the FSA that targeted this. It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels.”

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon denied the allegations, claiming that “It has been a long time that we are not intervening in Syria’s bloody war.

“Red lines were presented and we maintain them. There is an attack here, an explosion there, various versions – in any event, in the Middle East it is usually we who are blamed for most."

The Syrian government has made no official comment on the strike, with a state-run television channel simply acknowledging that a “series of explosions” had occurred.

Last updated: 11:29am, July 10 2013