Israel targets Iran’s secret missile sites in Syria
Israel Defence Force (IDF) military aircraft struck at Iran’s secret missile sites near Aleppo and in the east of Syria.
IDF has recently stepped up its bombardment of strategic military sites linked to Hezbollah and Iran in Syria.
In Aleppo the IDF targeted the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, one of the two main bases for Syria’s chemical and biological warfare programmes. The site is thought to be a key research centre for Tehran’s missile development programme, and a key transit point for the supply of missiles to Hezbollah.
Analysts estimate that Hezbollah has more than 100,000 short-range rockets aimed at Israel in the south of Lebanon.
The aim of the second target in eastern Syria, near Mayadeen, was less clear. However, analysts consider the area one of the main route used by Hezbollah militias to cross from Iraq to Syria.
About 14 fighters, both Iranian and Iraqi, were reportedly killed in the air strikes.
The IDF did not officially confirm the raids. However, defence officials were quoted in Israeli news media as arguing that the air strikes threat had forced Iran to reduce its flights into Syria.
Since 2012, both Iran and Hezbollah have been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
Naftali Bennett, the Israeli defence minister, said “For Iran, Syria is an adventure happening 1,000km away from home. For us, it’s our lives. We will not give up and we will not allow the establishment of an Iranian forward operating base in Syria.”