A Syrian air defense base near the coastal city of Latakia was reportedly destroyed Wednesday night, with multiple Syrian and Lebanese sources speculating that an Israeli strike from the Mediterranean was to blame.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a loud explosion in a Syrian army base, and Twitter users quoted eyewitnesses who said the blast occurred near Snobar Jableh, just south of the city.
The Syrian news outlet Dam Press, considered loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad, reported that the site was damaged but there were no injuries.
Unconfirmed reports suggested the explosion was the result of a missile strike from the sea. Social media exploded with posts alleging that Israel was responsible, though there was no immediate Israeli response.
Reports based on satellite footage of the site suggested the base held S-125 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
The coastal strip of Syria, encompassing the cities of Tartous, Latakia and Baniyas, is part of a predominantly Alawite portion of the country which remains loyal to the Assad regime in its lengthy campaign against rebels.
Earlier on Wednesday the Lebanese government news agency reported six Israeli aircraft flying through Lebanese airspace along the coast north of Beirut.
Israel has been accused of striking Syrian sites in the past, including in January and May this year. Israel refused to confirm the reports that it targeted weapons transfers, possibly to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which has remained loyal to Assad during the country’s bloody civil war.