Further Israeli strikes inside Syria are now expected after American intelligence analysts concluded that a recent attempt to destroy a stockpile of weapons there did not succeed, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
The strike, which allegedly took place July 5th near Latakia, targeted Russian-made anti-ship cruise missiles. While the warehouse containing the missiles was destroyed, American intelligence analysts have concluded that at least some of the Yakhont missiles had been removed from their launchers and moved from the warehouse before the attack.
According to The Times, the Assad government sought to hide the fact that the missiles had been missed by setting fire to launchers and vehicles at the site to create the impression of a devastating blow, according to American intelligence reports.
Russia has been supplying the Syrian government with sophisticated weaponry, despite the protestations of Western governments. Russia claims it is only fulfilling previous weapons contracts, signed before war broke out in Syria.
The July 5 attack near Latakia was the fourth known Israeli airstrike in Syria this year.
American officials fingered Israel for the strike, though Israel has not taken responsibility, keeping to its policy of withholding comment on pre-emptive military strikes.
Israeli officials have said that they do not intend to become involved in the Syrian war, but that they will act to prevent sophisticated weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists.