February 21, 2018

Syria Claims Israeli Planes Struck Research Center Killing 2 People

08 September 2017, 12:47 | Kara Nash

The Hezbollah flag

The Hezbollah flag

Israel has carried out almost 100 strikes in Syria since the beginning of the civil war there - many against convoys attempting to transfer precision weapons to Hezbollah, the country's air force chief told local media last month.

The Israeli jets allegedly aimed to attack a military facility and caused an extensive damage.

The army said the air raid targeted a facility near the western town of Masyaf, close to the Mediterranean coast, a stronghold of the Assad regime.

The army statement said Israeli forces fired missiles while in Lebanese air space. Syria denies having or using chemical weapons.

After the Syrian Army accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike near Hama, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman clarified that Israel will not tolerate any attempt to harm its security. The operation is reported to have taken place overnight on Wednesday, 6 September.

- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said an arms depot that apparently belonged to Hezbollah was hit and exploded.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to discuss the reports, saying it did not comment on operational matters.

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Hezbollah is fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria and rebels who want to overthrow Bashar al Assad's regime in Syria.

According to several reports, the strike happened at 2:30am at a Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) facility near Masyaf in the area of Hama.

The military center's employees were sanctioned by the United Nations earlier this year after a chemical weapons attack killed 83 people in Khan Sheikhoun.

During their meeting in Berlin, Rivlin told Merkel that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese militia, is building "weapons infrastructure" that "will force Israel to react", according to a statement released by the official President's Residence in Jerusalem.

Moreover some unconfirmed Lebanese reports said Israel also struck a convoy belonging to Hezbollah.

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. I can not imagine that Israel will allow the Iranians to deploy 25 miles from the Israeli border.

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