At dawn on Sunday, the Israeli Air Force targeted -from northern Lebanon- the city of Masyaf and defense factories in the al-Zawi area of the western Hama countryside. Militias affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Lebanese Hezbollah are located there, such as warehouses and research centers for missile development and drones.
The Masyaf area has been the target of several attacks in recent years, mostly attributed to the Israeli army. The last of these attacks was in early June when an Israeli airstrike targeted chemical weapons facilities in the city and other locations, the Washington Post reported. At least eight Syrian soldiers were killed in the strikes, according to local media.
Israel’s focus on targeting the Scientific Research Center, analyzed by the researcher at Jusoor Center for Studies, Wael Alwan, came on the basis that these centers are concerned with developing weapons and technical development of chemical materials. They are the most important sites for Israel in Syria, which is why it is targeting them.
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These sites, Alwan said, speaking to al-Hal Net, are entirely Iranian. “Bombing is a policy of mowing grass, which is a direct message to Iran, not to the Syrian regime. The regime is now in one way or another fully submissive to Iran. Therefore these bombings are not messages to any other parties, especially Russia, with which Israel has been coordinating previously to bomb these sites.”
Alwan points out that everyone is wondering about the extent of Russian-Israeli coordination after the crisis in Ukraine. This may need to be further monitored after this particular strike. Israel is targeting research centers in Jamraya, Masyaf, and Aleppo. These centers are where Iran is developing short- and medium-range missile weapons.
Alwan said the centers are developing thermal guidance devices for missiles. It injects some missiles with chemicals. In addition, they develop a mixture of chemicals and make weapons from them. Other targets other than research centers are missiles, drones, and radar depots -which are under preparation.
According to the information conveyed by Alwan, there is a huge amount of qualitative weapons, namely missiles that came from Iran to Syria, taking advantage of Russian preoccupation with the battles in Ukraine. This is expected to be a major wave of “Israeli grass-mowing policy”, such as bombing many sites Iran has developed, or the old sites that still transport missiles. However, Israel may need time to test its political and security coordination with Russia.
The Masyaf Centre is a site of the Syrian Centre for Scientific Studies and Research and has been targeted by Israeli airstrikes in the past. In 2017, two soldiers were killed in an airstrike attributed to Israel, on the same site, the BBC reported. The scientific research site is used in Masyaf to produce chemical weapons, according to the BBC.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.