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Mosby's Journal
Mosby's Journal
September 7, 2017

With alleged airstrike, Israel punctuates opposition to Syria ceasefire pact


In addition to whatever tactical value was gained from destroying such a facility, the early Thursday morning bombing run also presented a message to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, as well as to the United States and Russia, that Israel would continue to act in the war-torn country if necessary — ceasefire between the regime and rebels be damned.

The target was a Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) facility, which reportedly produces and stores both chemical weapons and precision missiles, located outside the city of Masyaf, in Syria’s northwestern Hama region, nearly 300 kilometers away from Israel’s northernmost air base.

It targeted a Syrian military-scientific center for the development and manufacture of, among other things, precision missiles which will have a significant role in the next round of conflict,” wrote Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israel’s Military Intelligence, on Twitter.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser, also noted that the rockets fired by Hezbollah at a Haifa train station during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which killed eight people, were manufactured at the Masyaf facility.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin explicitly that Israel would act in Syria, during their meeting last month in the Russian city of Sochi.


Yadlin noted that Russia and the US, which are helping negotiate and maintain a ceasefire in Syria, have been “ignoring the red lines that Israel has established.”

For instance, last week, the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the US agreed to let Iran-backed militias take positions within 10 kilometers of Israel’s border with the Syrian Golan Heights, a troubling notion for the Jewish state as it would open up yet another potential front for terrorist groups in a future conflict.

According to Yadlin, the overnight airstrike also served to show that the presence of Russian troops — and their advanced air defense systems — “do not prevent actions, which are attributed to Israel, in Syria.”


Yet Thursday’s strike also represented a change in tack for Israel, Amidror said during a phone briefing with reporters organized by the Israel Project.

Yadlin wrote that the attack was “not routine.” Indeed, it was the first airstrike apparently conducted by the IAF since the Russian-American brokered ceasefire went into effect earlier this summer.

Israel has cast doubts over the agreement, which it says allows Iran to entrench itself near the Golan border in southern Syria.

According to Amidror, the strike on the CERS base was the first time Israel targeted not a Hezbollah weapons convoy nor a Hezbollah warehouse on a Syrian base, but an Assad regime production facility.

The former national security adviser connected the airstrike to Nasrallah’s visit to Damascus last week. He said that during the terrorist leader’s visit to Syria, he likely secured a deal in which Assad would either “transfer the facility to Hezbollah or at least supply weapons to Hezbollah.”



September 7, 2017

Israel hits Syrian site said to be linked to chemical weapons

BEIRUT/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel attacked a military site in Syria’s Hama province early on Thursday, the Syrian army said, and a war monitoring group said the target could be linked to chemical weapons production.

The air strike killed two soldiers and caused damage near the town of Masyaf, an army statement said. It warned of the “dangerous repercussions of this aggressive action to the security and stability of the region”.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, said the attack was on a facility of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, an agency which the United States describes as Syria’s chemical weapons manufacturer.

It came the morning after U.N. investigators said the Syrian government was responsible for a sarin poison gas attack in April.


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