Satellite imagery appears to show Iran building advanced missile factory in Syria

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Source: i24News

 

A picture released on March 8, 2016 by Sepah News, the public relations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, shows a member of the Guards next to a missile launcher in an underground tunnel. STRINGER (SEPAH NEWS/AFP/File)

Images released by an Israeli intelligence firm on Wednesday appeared to show a missile manufacturing site in northwest Syria, raising suspicion of Iranian involvement due to a similar report last month.

“The construction patterns, the compound location and the activity signs at the compound and its region, increase the probability that this is a missile manufacturing site,” ImageSat Intl. (ISI) said.

The firm, however, could not confirm a report from Channel 12 last month, which said that Iran was operating a precision missile factory built in the outskirts of Latakia, a port city located near the Russian Khmeimim Air Force base. The Syrian government and Hezbollah reportedly assisted Iran in constructing the factory.

ImageSat Intl. however said that the images seemed to indicate a resemblance to an Iranian factory used for producing surface-to-surface missiles in Khojir, Iran.

Some 500 meter from the manufacturing site in Safita, which is close to Syria’s Tartus port, ISI “detected massive and extensive trails” indicating possible “missile launcher activity”.

The release of the images comes the same day as the Israeli army revealed that the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has recruited a number of villagers residing in the Syrian Golan Heights in recent months to make preparations and carry out intelligence gathering for terrorist operations on the border with Israel.

The operation to establish a Hezbollah cell in Syria, known as the Golan File, has been kept a secret from Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to Israeli intelligence sources. Nonetheless, the IDF says it still holds Assad’s regime accountable for any activity targeting the Jewish state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Hezbollah network unveiled on Wednesday was only the “tip of the iceberg” of what Israel knows about Iran’s “aggression against Israel.”

“I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you’re doing; Israel knows where you’re doing it. What we’ve uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel will continue to do all that’s necessary to defend itself,” he warned, referring to both “overt and covert means to block Iran’s effort to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel.”

 

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