Israeli raid on Syria targets missile shipment to Hizbollah

Bashar al-Assad. Photo / AP
Bashar al-Assad. Photo / AP

Israel has reportedly carried out an air strike on a Syrian military installation to stop a shipment to Hizbollah, as inspectors said Syria's entire declared stock of chemical weapons had been placed under seal.

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said that Israel had hit a Syrian air base in Latakia province, targeting a shipment of surface-to-surface missiles destined for the Lebanese Shia movement.

A United States official confirmed that "there was an Israeli strike" but gave no details on the location or the target, while Israeli officials refused to comment.

The US official said, "Historically, targets have been missiles transferred to Hizbollah" - which is allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

One unnamed US official told the Associated Press that the missiles targeted by Israel were Russian-made SA-125s.

Al-Arabiya quoted the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying explosions took place near Latakia at an air defence base. In May, Israel carried out two air strikes inside Syria, and a senior Israeli official told AFP both targets were Iranian weapons destined for Hizbollah.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reported yesterday that all of Syria's chemical weapons were under "tamper-proof" seals.

"All stocks of chemical weapons and agents have been placed under seals that are impossible to break," OPCW spokesman Christian Chartier said. "These are 1000 tonnes of chemical agents [which can be used to make weapons] and 290 tonnes of chemical weapons," Chartier told AFP in The Hague.

The OPCW also said Syria's chemical arms production equipment had been destroyed. Inspectors had until today to visit all the sites and destroy all production and filling equipment in accordance with a timeline laid down by the OPCW and a UN Security Council resolution.

- AFP

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