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Massive Explosion at Syria Missile Site, Israel Blamed

A massive explosion is reported at a base in western Syria. Syrian sources say Israel behind the blast.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/31/2013, 9:49 AM

IAF air strike (illustrative)
IAF air strike (illustrative)
Flash 90

There was a massive explosion early Thursday morning at an aerial defense base near the city of Latakia in northeastern Syria, Walla reports, based on reports from the Syrian opposition.

Opposition sources said the base, which held anti-aircraft missiles, was destroyed in the blast.

Sources in Syria and Lebanon blamed Israel for the strike. However, they offered alternate versions of events: while Syrian sources said the base was hit by a strike from at sea, Lebanese media outlets reported that Israeli planes were seen in the area before the blast.

Israel was widely assumed to be responsible for two airstrikes targeting Syrian weapons in May 2013.

An Israeli source confirmed that Israel bombed a shipment of “game changing” weapons headed for Hezbollah in early May. Israel was later accused of bombing the Jamraya research center in Damascus as well.

Israeli also implicitly confirmed it was behind an air strike in Syria in late January that targeted surface-to-air missiles and a military compound believed to house chemical agents.