Israeli Jets 'Hit Syrian Chemical Site'

Posted September 08, 2017

The site near the Syrian town of Masyaf, between the central city of Hama and a port used by the Russian navy, is reportedly used by forces from Syria's allies Iran and the Lebanese Shiite militia Hizbollah.

Unconfirmed Arab media reports say a chemical weapons production facility was hit in the attack.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson declined to comment on the incident. Israel rarely takes public credit for such strikes, though it is believed to have carried out almost 20 of them since 2013.

Israeli media had claimed that the facility is an alleged "chemical weapons facility", however the Israeli army has not officially claimed the attacks or released a statement.

- A huge explosion that sent a fireball into the sky near the Damascus worldwide airport in April was blamed by Syrian state media on an Israeli missile strike.

The United States has imposed sanctions on employees of the SSRC, which it describes as the Syrian agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons including chemical weapons, something Damascus denies.

Israeli fighter jets have struck a military facility in western Syria, killing two people, according to a Syrian commander.

Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel speaks at the Herzliya Conference in Herzliya
Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel speaks at the Herzliya Conference in Herzliya

An Israeli military spokesperson refused to comment on Thursday morning's attack, saying the army does not comment on operational matters.

But that Israeli officials have in the past admitted to Israel hitting weapons shipments believed to be bound for Hezbollah, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Israeli jets flew over Lebanon and fired at the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) base at Masyaf in Hama province.

"The factory in the attack also produces chemical weapons and barrels of explosives that killed thousands of Syrian citizens". The statement warned Israel of "serious consequences" over the attack. He gave no details but warned "this is something Israel can not accept".

Yaakov Amidror, the former head of Israel's National Security Council, told Israel's Army Radio Thursday that its airstrikes were only meant to weaken Iranian and Shiite military groups operating in Syria.

A few weeks later, Hezbollah launched an operation against Daesh in west Qalamoun simultaneously with the Lebanese Army's "Fajr al-Joroud" offensive on the outskirts of northeast Lebanon's Al-Qaa and Ras Baalbeck.

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