Syria says Israeli raids hit port region

Syrian air defenses intercepted several Israeli missiles on Wednesday (May 5) during pre-dawn raids on the Mediterranean port city of Latakia, according to the Syrian army.

A Syrian army statement said aerial strikes soon after 2 a.m. local time hit several areas along the southwest coast of the city.

At least one civilian was killed and others were left injured in one of the strikes that the army said hit a civilian plastics factory.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

Although Israeli strikes in the last few years have targeted many parts of Syria, they have rarely hit Latakia which is close to Russia's main air base of Hmeimim.

Syria's president Bashar al Assad is from a village 17 miles from south east of Latakia, where his father, the late president Hafez al-Assad, is buried.

Israel has escalated a so-called "shadow war" in recent months against Iranian-linked targets inside Syria, according to Western intelligence sources.

Syria has never acknowledged that Israel targets Iranian-linked assets with its attacks, and says Iran only has military advisers in the country.