A Syrian facility linked to the country’s chemical weapons program was bombed on Monday night, triggering Syrian air defenses, state media reported.
The state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV reported loud explosions in the coastal Latakia province, saying they were likely from Israeli strikes targeting a state company for technical industries.
The Syrian army said that Israel fired missiles from Lebanese airspace, adding that two people were killed in the attack and the facility was severely damaged, Hadashot reported early Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the US Department of Defense denied that the American military was behind the attack, telling the Voice of America news outlet, “I can unequivocally say this is not us.”
Syrian military sources told SANA that the attack came from the direction of the sea and targeted an Organization for Technological Industries center in Latakia.
The sources also claimed the country’s air defenses shot down a number of incoming missiles. The Syrian army has regularly been accused of exaggerating its interception capabilities.
The attack caused a large explosion and knocked out power to the surrounding area, according to local media.
The Organization for Technological Industries is a subsidiary of the Syrian Ministry of Defense and has been tied to the developments of both missiles and chemical weapons.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the explosions, saying the target appeared to be an ammunition depot, part of the compound of the organization. The war monitoring group said it was not clear if the depot was for Iranian or Syrian forces.
The strikes followed a similar attack on Damascus International Airport late Saturday, which Syrian state media also blamed on Israel. A military official quoted then on state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted some missiles coming from the sea.
Other attacks were reported on September 4 that targeted sites in the coastal Tartus area and in Hama province. The Observatory said at the time that the attacks were believed aimed at Iranian military posts.
Israel is alleged to have been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country’s war fighting alongside the government. Israel rarely acknowledges attacks inside Syria, but has said it will use military action to prevent weapons transfers to its enemies.
Earlier this month, an Israeli military official said the Jewish state has struck over 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.