Monday, October 15, 2018
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Syrian air defences 'intercept missiles' targeting Latakia

State media blames Israel for attacks that targeted 'state technical industry institutions'.

Syrian air defences have intercepted and downed missiles targeting several locations in the northwestern city of Latakia, according to state media.

The official SANA news agency blamed Israel for Monday's attacks which targeted "state technical industry institutions" in the government-controlled city.

"Air defences have confronted enemy missiles coming from the sea in the direction of the Latakia city, and intercepted a number of them," SANA quoted a military source as saying.

The reported attack comes just hours after Turkey and Russia agreed to establish a buffer zone in the rebel-held province of Idlib.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said huge explosions were heard in Latakia.

The missiles targeted ammunition depots of the technical industry institution in the eastern outskirts of Latakia, the Observatory said.

There was no immediate response from the Israeli government, but in recent days it has targeted several Syrian areas to prevent what it said were weapons transfers to its enemies.

Earlier this month, a senior Israeli military official said the army had struck more than 200 targets in Syria, focussing on Iranian weapons and other targets.

In late August, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would take "strong and determined action against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria".

His statement came days after Iran and Syria signed a deal for military cooperation.

Tehran has provided steady political, financial and military backing to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has presided over a seven-year civil war that has left nearly half a million Syrians dead and half of the country's prewar population of 12 million displaced.

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