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Israel reportedly struck additional targets in Syria, regime releases video



Western intelligence officials have told TIME that "at least one to two additional targets" were struck by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in Syria earlier this week in addition to that which has already been publicly reported. The officials did not specify the additional targets.

On Jan. 30, The Long War Journal reported that the IAF had carried out an airstrike on a Syrian weapons convoy which reportedly included Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, and noted the Syrian regime's claim that "a scientific research center responsible for raising the levels of resistance and self-defense in Jamraya area in Damascus Countryside" had also been hit.

According to TIME, the "scientific research center" was the Scientific Studies and Research Center (Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques), and "warehouses [at the SSRC] stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons" were destroyed in the strike.

While the TIME report provides new information regarding this week's incidents, it does not indicate whether the antiaircraft missiles struck were in the vicinity of the facility in question. However, on Feb. 1, a US official told Agence France Presse that Israel had struck "surface-to-air missiles on vehicles" as well as an "adjacent" military complex "on the outskirts of Damascus" believed to be "housing" chemical agents. Similarly, McClatchy reported, based on comments from unnamed Israeli intelligence officials, that the antiaircraft missiles "were on a military base" in Jamraya when they were struck. Both reports appear to confirm a Jan. 30 report in the Wall Street Journal that suggested the antiaircraft missiles "may have been close to a military facility" when hit.

According to the US Department of the Treasury, the SSRC is the Syrian government's body "responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them." In addition, the activities of the SSRC are said to "focus substantively on the development of biological and chemical weapons." In September 2010, Brigadier General (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel, then the director of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau at Israel's National Security Council, said that "[t]he international community must send a signal that next time the institute [SSRC] supports terrorism, it will be demolished."

On Feb. 2, Syrian state television aired footage purporting to show the damage caused by Israel's airstrikes, but there is no independent confirmation that the footage is of the SSRC facility or that it was taken in recent days. Additionally, the damage seen in the video is extremely limited, and TIME reported that the facility had been "flattened."

On the same day, former Israeli national security adviser Major General (ret.) Giora Eiland, reportedly confirmed that Israel was responsible for the strikes in Syria, and said Israel's action was "the right decision, despite all the risks." The following day, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a conference in Munich that "I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago ... But I keep telling frankly that we said, and that is another proof that when we say something we mean it."

Meanwhile, during a visit to Syria, senior Iranian official Saeed Jalili pledged full support to Damascus. "We will give all our support so that Syria remains firm and able to face all the arrogant (Western powers') conspiracies .... The Israeli aggression and arrogant international forces have tried to take revenge by attacking the resisting Syrian people," Jalili said. On Feb. 3, Bashar al Assad thanked Jalili for Iran's support and said that "Syria is capable of confronting current challenges and repelling any aggression targeting the Syrian people," according to a report in state-owned SANA.

While Iran offered support to Syria, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blasted Syria's government for not yet responding. "Why didn't Assad even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace and playing with the dignity of his country?" Davutoglu asked. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan similarly slammed Israel as he said that its actions were "unacceptable."



READER COMMENTS: "Israel reportedly struck additional targets in Syria, regime releases video"

Posted by Bill Baar at February 3, 2013 12:13 PM ET:

Any thoughts how this all connects with the rumored explosions at Fodrow? I noticed LWJ hasn't said much on that story. You think it was total fabrication, but if so, a fabrication to distract who-knows-whom from above story maybe?

Posted by sahani at February 3, 2013 3:54 PM ET:

I am surprised and shocked 1400 yrs and no one has exposed saudi's war plans. Each islamic nation is result of well planned war game where saudi pick up your poor and uneducated and criminals and converts them to so call islam a political wing of saudis .These converts are given a manual how ,why and when to kill locals who are still not converts to so called ISlam. Terror game works. No one likes to die .saudi don'ts send any arms or soldiers these local converts work for them a soldiers and foolish leaders don't get it. converts are so convinced about saudi god of arab as God loves blood of non converts and new converts and all are made to believe life on earth is to die for him and they will enjoy life after death. No wonder uneducated and poor are fooled but Its shame even educated class has not yet under stood this war game and now soon west and rest of the earth will be back to stone age the day These converts get hand on nuclear bomb.

Posted by blert at February 3, 2013 11:11 PM ET:

Bill Baar...

Iran has suffered massive sabotage attacks against its hypergolic missile program... and then gone on to deny that anything untoward happened.

Syria has never admitted -- even to this day -- that Israel ever flattened its atomic program out in the desert. Satellite photos tell a different tale: something was destroyed -- then swept up.

Since the facility is deeply bunkered, this time the outside world can't view revealing satellite photos.

It's hard to figure how spreading leaks about a pseudo-attack plays to a n y party's advantage. It certainly didn't 'bury' this story -- which was also leaked by Israel -- quasi-officially, in fact.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/who-spread-reports-of-an-explosion-at-iran-s-fordow-nuclear-plant-and-why.premium-1.496726

It's a story that puzzles many. ^^^^^

"...following the Fordow explosion, he claims, meetings were held between Revolutionary Guard commanders and Hassan Nasrallah, in which Hezbollah was ordered to evacuate a number of villages in south Lebanon, to prepare for an attack on Israel. "


Posted by JT at February 5, 2013 12:14 AM ET:

I am also quite curious about the lack of reporting on the Fordo site story for the past week or so. One would think that the story would be confirmed or proven wrong by someone soon. Kind of like the periodic reports of Mullah Omar's demise. Or Hucky's.

Posted by SomeGuy at February 5, 2013 4:39 PM ET:

While this didn't happen in a vacuum, I don't think it is related to the Iran story. The Iran story is a bit too fantastic for me to buy.
The Iran story did one thing for certain, it made North Korea's embassy make direct contact will all NK Nuke enrichment scientists in Iran at the time to validate their safety.
Intercepting that data would reveal who/how many were in Iran @ the time and thus who was back home preping a bomb test.

Just my Opinion.