U.S. officials were surprised by a reported recent strike on a Syrian weapons depot by an Israeli submarine, Hebrew-language daily Ma’ariv reported Thursday.
The U.S. officials said that they learned of the attack, which was said to have taken place in the Syrian port city of Latakia on July 5th and targeted a shipment of Russian-made anti-ship missiles, only after viewing satellite images.
According to reports in the Israeli media, the Israelis argued in private meetings and other exchanges that the disclosures by U.S. government officials could lead to Syrian counterattacks against Israel.
The covert attack destroyed a stockpile of what was believed to be 50 new Russian-made YakhontÂ anti-ship missiles that U.S. officials said could be used against ships providing arms in the future to Syrian rebels.
According to U.S. officials, the Israeli government censored domestic press reports about the attack over concerns that any public discussion might prompt Syrian counterattacks against the Jewish state.
Israel also feared the Yakhont missiles would be transferred to Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Iranian terrorist organization that has been aiding the Syrian government in its fight against opposition forces.