(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
An Israeli spy satellite has discovered a number of Russian mobile short-range ballistic missiles stockpiled in Syria, Channel 2 reported Friday.
In high definition photos taken by the Israeli "Eros B" satellite, the weapons, dubbed "Iskander" missiles, are clearly seen on trucks inside an army base in Latakia, located in western Syria.
The pictures seemingly prove what western intelligence agencies have long suspected: Russia has provided Syria with a wide array of the most advanced missiles in its possession.
Before Friday, evidence of the missiles had been scarce, given the fact that the Russians and Syrians had cached the weaponry in secretive strategic locations. Strong rainstorms, however, forced the Russians to transfer the missiles to different locations using trucks, leaving them exposed to documentation.
The "Iskander" missile, which has a range of up to 500 kilometers, is a medium range ballistic weapon that has the capacity to carry nuclear warheads and is superior to the older "scud" missile model.
Its accuracy is considered very high, while in tests the weapon can strike a target within a seven meter radius, as opposed to the scud which strikes within a 450 meter radius.
Syria has been engulfed in a bloody civil war over the past 5-years that has seen over 400,000 people killed and millions displaced from their homes. Russia has been an integral part in propping up current Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of carrying out crimes against humanity.