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Satellite images reveal unscathed SSRC facility in Syria



Today, Israel's Channel 2 broadcast satellite images of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques) in Jamraya. The images, which were reportedly taken by DigitalGlobe, showed that the complex was unscathed despite claims by the Syrian regime that it was the target of an Israeli raid last week. A TIME report had also suggested that the facility had been "flattened."

If the images, taken four days after the alleged bombing, are genuine, they all but confirm the belief among US officials that Israel's primary target in last week's raid was a convoy of antiaircraft weapons and not the SSRC facility. The images would also likely confirm the belief among US officials that the purported damage seen to the SSRC facility in the video released by Syrian state television on Feb. 2 was most likely the result of "secondary explosions from munitions in the convoy."

On Feb. 2, Threat Matrix noted that the footage purporting to show the damage caused by Israel's airstrikes showed "extremely limited" damage to the SSRC facility.

While the images may debunk the Syrian regime's claims as to what was struck, they do appear to support the belief that the antiaircraft missiles that were struck were located very close to the SSRC facility in Jamraya. In the images broadcast today a burnt road is clearly visible near the facility, possibly indicating the location of the Syrian weapons convoy when it was 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."

While Israel has not taken official responsibility for the strikes, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a conference in Munich on Feb. 3 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."

On the same day, Syria's Bashar al Assad thanked Iran for its recent pledge of support and said that "Syria is capable of confronting current challenges and repelling any aggression targeting the Syrian people."



READER COMMENTS: "Satellite images reveal unscathed SSRC facility in Syria "

Posted by tator cer at February 6, 2013 6:39 PM ET:

This is a sign that many are cooperating with the terrorist
They do not care to violate the sovereignty of another country
they do not respect international law
but they are hard for others to follow the law
it seems the world has gone crazy in their own way
they act as terrorists but do not accept that they are

Posted by mike merlo at February 6, 2013 7:37 PM ET:

The Israeli's should start blowing up or sabotaging whatever locale they feel houses a threat & just blame the action on the rebellion

Posted by Jeff Edelman at February 6, 2013 10:49 PM ET:

I've seen no supposition by the media of even the most remote possibility that the missiles, being so near the SSRC, may have been intended for loading of chemical or biological agents. This strikes me as odd. I wonder if the IDF thought it to be a possibility?

Posted by David at February 7, 2013 2:09 AM ET:

@ Bill -- Why would the Syrians want to lie about what the target was?

Posted by Caleb at February 7, 2013 10:20 PM ET:

@David: Even though your question was directed at Bill, I'd still like to give my input into your question.

It makes sense to me that with the chaos in Syria, the Assad regime was likely trying to bolster support. Something might have happened in this facility around the same time that Israel hit that ground convoy. In my opinion, and since these photo's allegedly show the facility wasn't hit I wasn't too far off, that the Assad regime used an unrelated incident at the facility to blame Israel since they just attacked a target within Syrian territory.

The move was likely trying to get anti-Israel terrorist organizations, and possibly other Arab nations, to support the Syrian regime in a possible strike against Israel.

My two cents anyway.

Posted by Dr. Greg J.Maloney,Ph.D. at February 9, 2013 8:41 PM ET:

Unfortunately, all you need in order to grow contagious germ weapons are a few test tubes, petri dishes, and some simple small pieces of equipment. There are plenty of locations in Syria for this to happen.

If you are not bothered with having to produce the highest tech ultra precision state of the art weaponized germ system, but are happy to make a product that can be spread around enough to cause world wide epidemics of smallpox,plague, avian influenza and the like; then you also increase the chances of these germs being released by the normal damages of war.

You can also take advantage of the vast numbers of refugees leaving Syria by using them as launch vehicles,so to speak, or give samples to terrorists.

Of course, you would need to be a trapped madman facing certain death to pull the pin on this Gotterdammerung finale and take your enemies with you...