Syria intercepts Israeli attacks near Latakia on Mediterranean coast -state media


AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian air defences intercepted an Israeli attack on several areas in northwestern Syria, including the port city of Latakia along the Mediterranean coast, state media said.

The Israeli dawn attack on Wednesday also hit the town of Hifa, east of the port city of Latakia, and Misyaf in Hama province.

Earlier state media had reported explosions in near Latakia city which residents heard across the city and its outskirts. The Israeli military did not immediately comment.

Syria gave no details on casualties but said a civilian plastics factory was hit in Latakia city.

Israel has escalated in recent months a so-called "shadow war" against Iranian-linked targets inside Syria, according to Western intelligence sources, who say the strikes mainly target research centres for weapons development and military convoys moving missiles from Lebanon to Syria.

Iran’s proxy militias led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah now hold sway over vast areas in eastern, southern and northwestern Syria, as well as several suburbs around Damascus. They also control Lebanese-Syrian border areas.

Israel has said its goal is to end Tehran’s military presence in Syria, which Western intelligence sources say has expanded in recent years.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Tom Hogue and Lincoln Feast.)

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