Clandestine air strike raids Syrian chemical site in Hama Province:
- It has been announced by the Bashar al-Assad Regime that the Israeli Air Force conducted air strikes from the Lebanese airspace on a military objective in eastern Masyaf, Hama province.
- While not acknowledging the chemical production nature of the site, there is enough data to suggest that the al-Tala’i facility hosts significant plants tasked to enhance the Regime’s CBRN potential.
- Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) is hosted in the al-Tala’i facility and is believed to be the site of WMD production that also made the compounds used in the Khan Sheykoun attack.
- The Israeli government did not comment on is involved in the air strike as it is the State’s policy not to discuss these issues.
- However, the Israeli Air Force has conducted dozens of clandestine air raids into Syrian territory in an attempt to stop the transfer of advanced weapons for Iranian Revolutionary Guards to the Lebanese Hezbollah, and to also curb the militia’s influence near the border area of Golan Heights. The most frequent location striked in the past by the IAF is the Al-Assad International Airport in Damascus.
- Hezbollah’s growing power in Syrian is also embedded in Iran’s influence over Damascus at a strategic level which posses an existential threat for the Israeli state.
- A former head of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, tweeted that Thursday’s strike on Masyaf was “not routine” and targeted a “Syrian military-scientific centre for the development and manufacture of, among other things, precision missiles”.
Russian S-400: Bypassed again or Idle?
- The presence of the advanced S-400 missile defense system operated by the Russian Federation at Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia has not deterred nor stopped the Israeli Air Force from striking the location.
- It could be assumed that Jerusalem has even employed the recently purchased multi-role F-35 in the operation which is recommended to have a superior stealth and evasive technology.
- On the other hand, it could also be the case that given the open Moscow-Jerusalem channel, the Russians could have compromised and allowed strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons plant; while a long shot, it is a worthy hypothesis especially because Israel has made its intentions clear and has drawn its “red lines” in regards to Hezbollah and Iranian activities on the border, notwithstanding the country’s readiness to take action if certain sensitive factors align.
Growing anxiety at Jerusalem
- Given the winning streak of the Syrian Regime coordinated and aided by Iranian elements it is expected for Tehran to gain a significant grip on the country and move advanced weapons and funds more easily to support Hezbollah’s operations against the Israeli Defense Forces.
- The border province of Quneitra is still disputed between the Regime, several Rebel factions and the ISIS-affiliated ibn-Khalid Army, therefore time is still on the table in regards to Israel’s national security concerns in Syria.