BEIRUT/JERUSALEM Oct 31 Reports of an explosion
at a Syrian military base late on Wednesday have prompted
speculation of a new Israeli attack on Syria but Israeli
officials would not confirm a report on CNN that their jets had
carried out a strike.
The channel quoted an unidentified U.S. official on Thursday
as saying Israeli warplanes struck a Syrian base near the port
of Latakia. But Israeli officials declined comment.
"We're not commenting on these reports," a spokesman for the
Israeli Defence Ministry said.
One Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said he thought that Israel had indeed carried out a strike. He
stressed that he was not entirely certain, however.
Israel has repeatedly warned that it is prepared to use
force to prevent advanced weapons, notably from Iran, reaching
Lebanon's powerful Shi'ite Muslim guerrillas through Syria. It
carried out several air strikes on Syria earlier this year.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collates
reports from opposition activists, said late on Wednesday that
there had been an explosion at Syrian air defence base near
Jableh, in the Mediterranean coastal province of Latakia.
The Lebanese military said six Israeli jets flew over
Lebanese territory on Wednesday. Israeli aerial incursions over
Lebanon are frequent, but such high numbers have in the past
sometimes been an indication of military strikes against Syria.