Israel carries out airstrike near Syrian capital

Kristopher Drake
September 8, 2017

Reuters added that in an interview to Haaretz last month, former Israeli air force chief Amir Eshel said Israel had struck Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys almost 100 times in the past five years.

He said the jets fired several missiles from Lebanese airspace, but still caused extensive damage.

Israel has previously carried out strikes believed to be targeting the transfer of weapons to Hizbollah, which fought a devastating war with the Jewish state in 2006.

Syria's government claims it no longer possesses chemical weapons after a 2013 agreement under which it pledged to surrender its chemical arsenal.

Israeli jets have reportedly bombed a Syrian government facility near Hama associated with the Assad regime's chemical weapons programme, according to early reports in Arab and Israeli media. The operation is reported to have taken place overnight on Wednesday, 6 September.

The statement identified the destroyed site as the Scientific Studies and Research Center, which is responsible for research and development of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile technology and weapons.

The BBC's Jonathan Marcus says today's air strike bears a clear message from Israel: it will not tolerate the alleged military presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria.

In May, an official in the military alliance backing Assad said that Hezbollah drew a distinction between Israel striking its positions in Syria and at home in Lebanon.

On Wednesday, the United Nations war crimes commission released a report confirming that the Assad regime had indeed used chemical weapons, including sarin gas, to attack its own people.

The Israeli attack came as Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, backed by Hizbullah and Russian Federation, has scored impressive gains against both Islamic State and Syrian rebel groups.

Syria's army did not mention the SSRC in its statement.

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.

The United States Treasury sanctioned 271 of SSRC employees in April, weeks after a nerve agent was used to kill 83 people and wound dozens more in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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