Israel attacks military plant in Syria



There's a strong probability that the Syrian military research center allegedly struck by Israeli warplanes on Thursday morning was targeted because of concerns that Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nassrallah had asked Damascus to hand over the facility to the Lebanon-based Shi'ite terror group.

An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to discuss reports of a strike in Syria, but a former Israeli intelligence chief also corroborated the chemical weapons site claims on social media.

Hundreds of strikes are believed to have been carried out by Israel in Syria in the last six years of foreign-backed war.

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is meant to have destroyed all chemical weapons under a deal agreed with the global community in 2013.

The war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the strike hit a Scientific Studies and Research Center facility, the agency the USA describes as Syria's chemical weapons manufacturer.

In mid-August, several top Israeli and American experts on nuclear proliferation warned that the failure to successfully deal with North Korea's nuclear weapons program sets a precedent for a similar scenario with Iran. "Hizbollah also uses the facility", said observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Israeli officials say Lebanon's Hezbollah has significantly upgraded its capabilities with a more sophisticated arsenal in recent years. There was no comment from Israel. He gave no details but warned "this is something Israel can not accept". The center is used to develop missiles as well as chemical weapons.

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"It is the first time that the target which was attacked is a formal Syrian facility, not just a warehouse but a centre of R&D and. responsible for producing the chemical weapons in the past and many other weapons systems", he told journalists.

"And we will not allow them to build the capabilities of Hizbollah under the chaotic umbrella of Syria". "Every day, there are explosions and people being killed in Syria and it is a matter concerning only the Syrians", he said.

Israel has conducted almost 100 airstrikes since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, with this one marking an escalation in tensions between the two governments.

Israel's defence minister on Thursday issued a veiled warning to Syria, without confirming or denying what Damascus said was an Israeli air strike on its territory.

The airstrike took place beside an adjacent military camp where ground-to-ground rockets are stored, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. "The attack in April was described by the investigators as a war crime and described in the report as the gravest of incidents".

According Arab media, the site attacked is a Syrian center for the development and production of weapons, including long-range missiles and possibly chemical weapons.

The strike purportedly was initiated from Lebanese air space and killed two Syrian regime soldiers.

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