Smoke Rises Following an Airstrike on Latakia, Syria.(Reuters)

Following a July 5 strike, believed to be the fourth by Israeli forces on Syrian military installations this year, mum was the word. The target was believed to be anticruise missiles from a recent Russian shipment to Syria, but neither Israeli nor Syrian officials mentioned anything about the incident. On the other hand, American intelligence officials, which previously confirmed the attack, have now anonymously disclosed (for reasons unknown) that the Israeli strike failed to knock out the entire arsenal of weapons in the shipment.

American and Israeli naval officials consider the missiles to be a serious threat to their ships.

After the Israeli attack, 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 that the strike had landed a devastating blow, according to American intelligence reports.

While the focus continues its drift away from the Syrian conflagration, this assessment is a startling reminder of the reality that as fighters and weapons pour into Syria from all sides, the possibility that powerful weapons might reach groups like Hezbollah grows and expand an already out-of-control conflict.