Israel bombs Syria —again

The Israel Air Force was responsible for an Oct. 30 attack on a military base in the Syrian city of Latakia, according to a Reuters report that cited an opposition source. The target was named as a strategic missile battery near Ain Shikak village—and particularly a new shipment of Russian SA-8 surface-to-air missiles destined for Hezbollah. The Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya said Israeli planes also struck an unnamed target in Damascus. Israel warplanes were also reported to have raided a missile warehouse near Latakia in July, and a military site near Damascus in May. Israel has not confirmed or denied any of the air-strikes. (Haaretz, Maan News Agency, Nov. 1)

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced Oct. 31 that Syria has destroyed or rendered inoperable all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities, meeting a Nov. 1 deadline in the disarmament program established by the UN. The OPCW, which won the Nobel Peace prize this month, said its teams had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across the country. The remaining two were too dangerous to reach for inspection but the chemical equipment had already been moved to other sites that experts had visited, the organization said. The next target date is Nov. 15, for Damascus and the OPCW to agree to a plan of destruction of more than 1,000 metric tons of toxic agents and munitions. (Reuters, Oct. 31)