AP NEWS

Syrian TV says Israeli strikes hit state company, 10 injured

September 17, 2018

Map locates Latakia in Syria, where airstrikes are reported.; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Loud explosions shook Syria’s coastal province of Latakia late Monday, sending orange flames into the sky in what Syrian state media said was an Israeli attack on a state company for technical industries that injured 10 people.

Explosions continued for nearly a half hour, said state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV, which aired footage showing streaks of white light flashing across the sky. An unidentified military official was quoted as saying Syrian air defenses intercepted some missiles heading for the provincial capital of Latakia from the sea.

Al-Ikhbariya said all two of the injured were hospitalized and the rest were released after treatment.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which initially reported the explosions, also reported 10 wounded, saying all of them were soldiers and some were in critical condition.

The war monitoring group said the target appeared to be an ammunition depot that in the compound of the state Institute for Technical Industries. The group it was not clear if the depot was for Iranian or Syrian forces.

The strikes followed a similar attack on Damascus International Airport late Saturday, which Syrian state media also blamed on Israel. A military official quoted then on state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted some missiles coming from the sea.

Other attacks were reported on Sept. 4 that targeted sites in the coastal Tartus area and in Hama province. The Observatory said at the time that the Sept. 4 attacks were believed aimed at Iranian military posts.

Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country’s war fighting alongside the government. Israel rarely acknowledges attacks inside Syria, but has said it will use military action to prevent weapons transfers to its enemies. Earlier this month, an Israeli military official said the Jewish state has struck over 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.

U.S. and Israeli officials have said that Iran and Hezbollah should end their armed presence in Syria. Israel says it will not tolerate Iran’s growing presence in Syria.

Monday’s attack came hours after Russia and Turkey announced an agreement that effectively prevents a Syrian government offensive against Idlib, a rebel-held area in northwestern Syria.

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Associated Press writer Sarah El Deeb in Beirut contributed to this report.

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