The Israeli jets have attacked a Syrian military facility believed to be connected to President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons programme. Two were dead in a 2 am the attack on the Syrian Scientific Research Center in the central province of Homs, near the Mediterranean coast. The reports asserted that the jets were noticed flying over Lebanon overnight and the strikes were executed over Lebanese air space. “Dangerous repercussions of this aggressive action to the security and stability of the region,” said a statement released by the Syrian army in their warning. The Syrian army said in a statement, “Israeli warplanes at 2:42 am today fired a number of missiles from Lebanese airspace, targeting one of our military positions near Masyaf, which led to material damage and the deaths of two members of the site.”
The army statement added that two soldiers were killed in the air attack and impacted area near the town of Masyaf. The SSRC has been accused by the United States for helping to extend the sarin gas used in an attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April, killing 87 people. This strike hit a Scientific Studies and Research Centre facility, an agency that the US claims as Syria’s chemical weapon manufacturer, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which keeps an eye on the war. This attack took place just after a day the United Nation Commission of Inquiry pronounced they had an “extensive body of information” hinting that the Syrian regime was accountable. The Syrian government, however, denied the fact that using chemical weapons and in 2013, they promised to dump its chemical weapons programme, which it claims it has already done.
The Isreal has executed air strikes on military positions inside Syria and against shaky arms shipments supposed to be aimed at Lebanon’s Shia militia Hizbollah, which is battling along the side of Assad’s forces, almost 100 times during the six-year war. The experts, on the other hand, said that the nature of Thursday’s target was “exceptional”. The former Israeli intelligence chief, Amod Yadlin, said the raids send three messages: “That Israel won’t allow for empowerment and production of strategic arms. Israel intends to enforce its red lines despite the fact that the great powers are ignoring them. And that the presence of Russian air defense does not prevent air strikes attributed to Israel.” The former Israeli air force chief Amir Eshel said in an interview with Haaretz last month upon his retirement that Israel had struck Syrian and Hezbollah arms groups almost 100 times in the last five years.
An official in May said in the military alliance backing Assad said that Hezbollah dragged a division between Israel striking its positions in Syria and at home in Lebanon. The official said, “If Israel strikes Hezbollah in Lebanon, definitely it will respond.” These strikes follow a number of statements by Israel in last some weeks blaming its arch-enemy Iran of looking for a way to build itself in Syria and of building a weapons factory. They frightened that boosted Iran and Hizbollah may attack the missiles at Iran once the chance of war rises in Syria. A former head of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, said that the attack was not regular and targeted a Syrian military scientific center. Yadlin said in a tweet, “The factory that was targeted in Masyaf produces the chemical weapons and barrel bombs that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians.”
Yaakov Amidror, a former head of the country’s National Security Council, said to Israel’s Army Radio on Thursday that the air strike could be an attempt to depress Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese armed group that operates in Syria. “We do not interfere in the question of who will rule in Damascus; we interfere with the question of how strong Iran and Hezbollah will be in the region,” he said. “More often, they have commented on the fact that they have tried to prevent weapon shipments going from Iran and getting to Hezbollah bases here inside Lebanon, or to Lebanese fighters who are fighting alongside the Syrian government and troops inside of Syria,” Amidror added.
The strikes also hit a military camp next to the facility that was used to store ground-to-ground rockets and where personnel of Iran and its ally (Hizbollah), are stationed, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. The head of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said, “There are Iranian experts using the research center there. Hizbollah also uses the facility.”