Israeli navy Dolphin-class submarine
Israeli navy Dolphin-class submarineIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A top Syrian rebel official on Monday said that the IDF had indeed attacked Latakia over the weekend – not from the air, as had been reported, but from the sea. “Israel used a submarine to attack the missiles,” Mustafa Abd al-Karim told a Russian news station Monday.

According to weekend reports, Israeli forces on July 5 destroyed a cache of Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles as they were docked at the port of Latakia in Syria. Israel did not confirm or deny the report, first broadcast on CNN, and Syria initially denied that the attack had taken place at all, but Israeli television stations released satellite photos showing that the bombing had taken place.

CNN quoted several U.S. officials as saying that Israeli planes had bombed the missiles, and a report quoted in Ha'aretz said that Israeli fighter planes were seen in the skies of the Syrian city of Al-Haffah, located east of Latakia.

In the interview with Russya al-yum, an Arabic-language Russian satellite broadcaster, Al-Karim said that “the attack was carried out by an Israeli submarine. At least five missile batteries were destroyed.”

A separate report earlier Monday by another Russian satellite broadcaster, Russia Today, said that Israeli planes launched from an air base in Turkey bombed the missiles. Turkey denied the allegation, with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying that Turkey “would not be involved in such a strike, and anyone who says it was is just trying to harm Turkey's reputation.”