The Iraqi paper Azzaman quoted Western diplomatic sources as saying Thursday that the alleged Israeli attack on Syria caused heavy casualties of special Iranian Guards at the Syrian facility. The sources also said that the attack took place more than 48 hours before it was reported, eventually being leaked by Israel.

The source for the story, who was interviewed by the paper in London, said that the report about a strike on a convoy to Lebanon was probably meant to divert attention away from the main objective of the operation, which used F-16 aircraft to fire at least eight guided missiles at the facility.

The source also said that the base was heavily fortified and contained experts from Russia and at least three thousand Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who have been guarding the site for years. Many of these Iranian Guards suffered casualties.

Israel most likely got its intelligence, said the source, from penetrating deep inside Iran and from other operations meant to penetrate Hezbollah.

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