Satellite images show destruction to Syrian underground missile facility
Research facility with Iranian ties was target of attack earlier this month
Hebrew news site Maariv on Thursday reported that the March 12 air strike near the northwestern Syrian city of Masyaf targeted underground research facilities developing surface-to-surface missiles.
An intelligence report from ImageSat International showed damage to the external structures at the site., reported Maariv, claiming that the site, which it says is linked to the Scientific Studies and Research Center SSRC), has been targeted before.
Israel claims that Iranian forces use the SSRC to manufacture surface-to-surface missiles.
While Syria blamed Israel for the attack, Israel did not comment. Israel has a long-standing policy of not commenting on any attacks against Syrian targets, however, it says it reserves the right to attack Iranian targets in Syria in self-defense.
Following the strike, Syrian media said two Iranian-affiliated militia members were killed and three Syrian Army soldiers wounded. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights at the time said the attack was directed at a weapons depot for Iranian-linked militias in the Tartus area.
Maariv's military commentator Tal Lev Ram told Israel’s 103FM that “the time [of the attack] is relatively unusual; it was light, you can really see the signs of the attack.”
Lev Ram also referred to the research facilities associated with Iran.
“It is an area where several research centers are concentrated, an area that is relatively close to the Lebanese Beqaa [Valley],” he said.
Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group based in Lebanon, set up a missile production site in the Beqaa Valley several years ago.
Lev Ram said the timing of the attack could be a message from Israel.
“There could have been an aspect of immediate identification or a desire for a message, that you want them to see the attack,” he suggested.
Lev Ram also stated that the strike was a reminder that “the story of Syria is still in the crosshairs of the [Israeli] Air Force.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.