Alleged Israeli Strike Destroys Syrian Chemical Weapons Facility

08 September, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
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Israel routinely does not comment on operations in Syria, but politicians have previously confirmed that the air force has carried out strikes in the neighboring country, mostly to stop weapons from being transferred to Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

The Lebanese military could not immediately verify that the strike was launched from Lebanese airspace, but Israeli aircraft routinely fly over Lebanon in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Israel has not commented on its alleged involvement.

An army statement said rockets fired from Lebanese airspace targeted the site near Masyaf, killing two soldiers.

Accusing Israel of directly supporting ISIS and other terror organizations, the statement warned against the "dangerous repercussions of this aggressive action to the security and stability of the region". Israel has also struck several Syrian military facilities since the conflict began, mostly near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

According Arab media, the site attacked is a Syrian center for the development and production of weapons, including long-range missiles and possibly chemical weapons.

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Rami Abdurrahman, the head of London based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights has said that Hezbollah fighters and Iranian military officials often visit the site.

An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to discuss reports of a strike in Syria.

He said the timing was also a way of showing Hizbullah and its patron Iran that Israel is far more prepared today than it was when Israel and Hizbullah last fought a war in 2006.

Al-Masdar News, a Beirut based news portal reports that Israeli missiles travelling across Lebanon struck the Syrian military and the scientific research facility in the northeast Tortous city of Masyaf. "Every day, there are explosions and people being killed in Syria and it is a matter concerning only the Syrians", he said.

The report said the Syrian Air Force had used the nerve agent Sarin in one attack, on the rebel town of Khan Sheikhoun in April.

The strike sent a message that Israel would not let Syria produce strategic weapons, would enforce its own red lines, and would not be hampered by Russian air defence systems in Syria, he added. According to the IDF, Hezbollah was following closely the preparations for the maneuvers, in which the IDF Northern Corps is training with multiple divisions operating in simulated combat situations.

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