Israel Reportedly Strikes Syrian Military Site in Western Syria

Attack carried out against a target near Hama, report says ■ Site was allegedly attacked by Israel last year ■ Reports of Iranian presence

Jack Khoury
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A site near Maysaf Israel allegedly stuck in 2017, purportedly near the site of the reported attack.
A site near Maysaf Israel allegedly stuck in 2017, purportedly near the site of the reported attack.Credit: Google Earth
Jack Khoury

Israeli fighter jets attacked targets in western Syria on Sunday, according to reports in Syria and Lebanon.

The strike took place some outside the town Masyaf, located south-west of Hama, Syrian news agency SANA reported. According to the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen channel, the attack was carried out by Israeli jets firing missiles from Lebanese airspace.

The Lebanese report said that the strike targeted a scientific facility, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group, said that the site was a missile warehouse used by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Opposition sources reported Iranian presence at the attacked site, saying that it is used to develop missiles and produce chemical weapons.

Some of Iran's military bases in Syria are next to Syrian military compounds, an intelligence source told Reuters.

Last year, it was reported that Israel attacked a target near Masyaf. The alleged Israeli strike took place exactly 10 years after Israel took out Bashar Assad's nuclear reactor. 

At the time, the Syrian army general command described the target as a military facility, and said a nearby site where short-range surface-to-surface missiles were stored was also hit. However, a war monitor said the center in Masyaf has been described by the U.S. as Syria's chemical weapons manufacturer. Opposition forces also said the target was a weapons factory that develops arms for the Syrian regime and for Hezbollah.

Last week, Syria accused Israel of attacking an air force base near Homs known to be housing Iranian forces. It was the third time in a year that Israel has struck the site, according to foreign reports.

SANA said air defenses were activated as warplanes, reportedly coming into the country from Jordan, approached the T4 base near Tiyas. The planes, which were said to be flying at low altitude to avoid detection, passed through the al-Tanaf area, where U.S. forces have a base.

Reuters contributed to this report

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