Syria Says Israel Struck Scientific Military Center for Second Time in 3 Months

Syrian state media reports that air defenses responded to the incident ■ Jamraya Research and Information Center believed to be R&D site for missiles, rockets and non-conventional weapons

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The Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques, a 'military research facility' in the Damascus suburb of Jamraya, Syria.
The Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques, a 'military research facility' in the Damascus suburb of Jamraya, Syria.Credit: GoogleEarth

Israel struck Assad regime targets near Damascus on Wednesday, the Syrian military said. Syrian state media said that Syrian air defenses had responded to what it described as "a new Israeli aggression" in the countryside around the Syrian capital.

The Syrian military claimed that Israeli jets came through Lebanese airspace before striking, adding that air defenses intercepted most of the missiles fired.

Sources close to the Syrian government said Israeli missiles had targeted a "research center" in the town of Jamraya, just north of Damascus. According to reports on social media, three explosions were heard in the Damascus area.

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This is not the first report of Israeli strikes on a research facility in Jamraya. The Jamraya Research and Information Center, a "scientific military facility" in the suburb northwest of Damascus is known to Western intelligence agencies as a Syrian military complex where the Assad regime has developed missiles, rockets and apparently also non-conventional weapons.

>>Israeli army warns: Danger of violence escalating into war is growing | Analysis

Satellite images depicting the damage wreaked on the bombed Iranian military base in Syria surfaced on Monday, two days following the attack, which foreign media attributed to Israel.

Last month, Israel attacked an arms depot of a Syrian army military base near Damascus with jets and ground-to-ground missiles, the Syrian army said. The Syrian army added that their air defense systems prevented three separate strikes, saying that the incident proves Israel's support for anti-regime organizations. The Israeli military declined to comment on the matter.

>>Israeli military policy: Resolve on Lebanon and Syria borders | Analysis

On Tuesday, Lebanon's three top leaders accused Israel of threatening the stability of the border region between the two countries. President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri met to study the recent "Israeli threats, and saw in them ... a direct threat to the stability" of the border region, the president's office said in a statement.

Later on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the security cabinet toured the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights. During the tour, Netanyahu said that Israel "seeks peace, but we are prepared for any scenario, and I do not suggest anyone test us."

Referring to rising tensions on Israel's northern border, Netanyahu said that Israel has "extraordinary determination to defend our country," adding that "this is a great change in the history of our people, our ability to defend ourselves by ourselves."

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