Israeli jets strike ‘chemical weapons factory’ in Syria’s Hama

Israeli jets strike 'chemical weapons factory' in Syria's Hama

Israel targeted a military facility in western Syria’s Hama province early on Thursday, Syria’s army said, breaching Lebanese airspace to carry out the strikes.

The army statement said the airstrike killed two people and caused material damage near the town of Masyaf and warned against the “dangerous repercussions of this aggressive action to the security and stability of the region”.

Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the strikes hit a Scientific Studies and Research Centre facility, the agency the US describes as Syria’s chemical weapons manufacturer.

The Observatory also said that a military storage camp next to the centre was used to store ground-to-ground rockets and that personnel of Iran and its allied Lebanese Hizballah group had been seen there more than once.

It gave the total number of dead and wounded in the strike as seven.

Israeli officials have in the past admitted that Israel has attacked weapons shipments bound for Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hizballah group, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, without specifying which ones.

An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to discuss reports of a strike in Syria, saying the army does not comment on operational matters.

Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, tweeted that the reported attack was not routine and targeted a Syrian military scientific centre.

“The facility at Masyaf also produces chemical weapons and explosive barrels that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians,” Yadlin said in the tweet.

There was no independent confirmation that this was the target but the strike came hours after the UN officially accused Assad’s regime of dropping chemical bombs on civilians more than two-dozen times, including a deadly sarin attack in Idlib in April.

Jets flying over Lebanon overnight broke the sound barrier and Lebanese media reported that some Israeli jets had breached Lebanese airspace.

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