Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Israeli Jets Reportedly Strike Assad-run Chemical Weapons Facility In Syria

F-15 warplane in flight F-15 warplane in flight
Howard Terry | 08 September, 2017, 00:46

Israel has carried out an air strike on a Syrian military facility that Western powers suspect is used to manufacture chemical weapons.

"The IDF policy is that we don't respond to foreign allegations or reports", an Israeli army spokesman told The Media Line. The United Nations has repeatedly stated that Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights is illegal, calling for it to be returned to Syria.

Israel has previously carried out strikes believed to be targeting the transfer of weapons to Hizbollah, which fought a devastating war with the Jewish state in 2006.

The Syrian army statement said the Israeli strike came early on Thursday morning (local time) from inside Lebanese airspace.

"Syria's army warns of the serious repercussions of such acts of aggression on the security and stability of the region", it added.

Some Israeli commentators saw the latest strike - a departure from the previous pattern of attacks on weapons convoys - as a show of Israeli dissatisfaction with the United States and Russian Federation.

Former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin tweeted that the strike was "not routine", and that the destroyed facility was involved with the production of barrel bombs dropped on Syrian civilians.

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

However, Israel's military spokeswoman has declined to comment on the "operational matters".

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the incident in Khan Sheikhoun - which prompted the USA to launch a missile strike on an airbase - was a "fabrication".

Earlier this week, the IDF launched its biggest, most comprehensive exercise in nearly 20 years, comprising ground, air and sea forces in a simulated attack by Hezbollah on the northern border.

"I hope for Assad that he's not taking any steps that might find him in a very bad situation", Amidror said, speaking to reporters in a phone briefing organized by the Israel Project.

The reported attack took place on the 10th anniversary of Israel's destruction of a nuclear reactor in Syria.

It is the largest military exercises Israel has conducted in 19 years, simulating a battle against Hezbollah and including the deployment of drones, navy ships, fighter jets and helicopters, in addition to tens of thousands of soldiers and reservists.

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