Satellite imagery of Israeli airstrike at Damascus airport released
On May 15, Channel 2 (Israel) released a couple of satellite images of the alleged Israeli airstrike at Damascus International Airport on May 3. The released images show that at least two locations were struck in the attack, which reportedly targeted Fateh-110 surface-to-surface missiles from Iran.
The areas in question, which are on opposite sides of the airport complex, appear to have been completely destroyed in the attacks, according to the images dated May 6. Satellite images of the attack near the Scientific Studies and Research Center (Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques) in Jamraya on May 4 have not yet been released.
The release of the images from the airport in Damascus came on the same day that a senior Israeli official warned that Israel was considering additional strikes against advance weapons systems inside Syria. "Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region," an Israeli official told the New York Times.
Since the start of the uprising against the Assad regime, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has conducted at least three airstrikes in Syria, two of which were carried out earlier in May.
In late January, the IAF reportedly struck targets near the Scientific Studies and Research Center (Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques) in Jamraya. According to reports, the IAF targeted a weapons convoy, which included Russian-made SA-17 antiaircraft missiles, near the facility. Like the strike that occurred at Damascus International Airport in May, the January attack was reportedly carried out by Israeli aircraft that never actually entered Syrian air space.
While some reports of the January strike suggested that the SSRC facility itself was targeted and "flattened," satellite imagery released on Feb. 6 revealed that the facility, known for its ties to Syria's chemical weapons program, was relatively unscathed. The images did show a burnt road near the facility, possibly indicating the location of the Syrian weapons convoy when it was hit, however.
Although Israeli officials have not taken official responsibility for any the alleged strikes, they have repeatedly warned that they are prepared to act in Syria to prevent Hezbollah and other terror groups from obtaining advanced weaponry. In a recent interview with the BBC, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We are prepared to defend ourselves if the need arises and I think people know that what I say is both measured and serious."