‘Israeli jets hit Syria’s Masyaf chemical site’ – reports

Filed under: World |

7 September 2017

The Syrian army says Israeli jets have attacked a military base in the west of the country, amid reports of a strike on a suspected chemical weapons site.

A statement said rockets fired from Lebanese airspace hit the site near Masyaf, killing two soldiers.

Arab media and a monitoring group reported that a chemical weapons production facility was targeted.

Israel, which has carried out clandestine attacks on weapons sites in Syria before, has not commented.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to discuss the reports, saying it does not comment on operational matters.

The attack comes a day after UN human rights investigators said they had concluded a Syrian Air Force jet had dropped a bomb containing the nerve agent Sarin on a rebel-held town in April, killing at least 83 people.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the incident in Khan Sheikhoun – which prompted the US to launch a missile strike on an airbase – was a “fabrication”.

He has also insisted his forces destroyed their entire chemical arsenal under a deal brokered by the US and Russia after a Sarin attack outside Damascus in 2013.

The Syrian army said rockets struck the base near Masyaf, about 35km (22 miles) west of the city of Hama, at 02:42 on Thursday (23:42 GMT on Wednesday), causing “material damage” and the deaths of two personnel.

It accused Israel of attacking “in a desperate attempt to raise the collapsed morale” of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) and warned Israel about “the dangerous repercussions of such hostile acts on the security and stability of the region”.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said the rockets hit a Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) facility and also a military camp nearby that was used to store ground-to-ground rockets.(Agencies)

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