Israeli warplanes strike targets inside Syria

Israeli fighter jets launched an airstrike against military targets in western Syria, suspected of being a weapons cache for the Hezbollah terror group. 

The target, a Syrian military base in Latakia, was a missile and weapons storage facility for the Syrian military, according to reports by CNN

Jerusalem reportedly launched the strikes to intercept a delivery of Russian missiles heading to the Latakia base, according to reports by the Associated Press.

Concerns over whether the missiles being housed at the western Syrian site would be handed over to members of the Iranian terror group fighting in the country prompted Israel to take action. 

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on possible strikes inside Syria. 


Latakia is located in western Syria, an area dominated by supporters of embattled President Bashar Assad. 

The area has been a regime stronghold for most of the ongoing civil war in the country between Assad's forces and anti-government rebels fighting to overthrow the longtime leader. 

Iran and Russia have been the biggest international backers of the Assad regime since war broke out in the country three years ago. 

Tehran has been overtly airlifting weapons and supplies to Assad's forces, while also reportedly directing Hezbollah fighters into the country to battle rebel forces. 

Thursday's reported airstrike is not the first time Israel has exercised military force against Hezbollah fighters in Syria. 

Israeli fighters launched a series of airstrikes inside Syria in April, targeting suspected Hezbollah fighters accused of smuggling weapons and supplies through the country and into occupied territories surrounding Israel. 

In August, the Treasury Department's Terrorism and Financial Intelligence directorate levied a series of economic sanctions against top commanders from Hezbollah's "Unit 1800." 

The unit is tasked with providing weapons, equipment and training to radical militant groups affiliated with the Lebanese terrorist organization looking to destabilize the democratic government in Iraq and bolster the Assad regime, a department statement said at the time. 

Iran remains “the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” with Tehran continually carrying out "deplorable abuse of basic human rights, denial of basic civil freedoms ... [and] ongoing activities that seek to destabilize the region," according to the statement.  

--this story was updated at 4:01pm