An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet flies during an aerial demonstration at a graduation ceremony for Israeli airforce pilots at the Hatzerim air base in southern Israel December 29, 2016..
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
Over the past several months, Israel struck Iranian military factories in Syria, including factories located within civilian industrial areas, according to a report published Saturday by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.
The newspaper cited intelligence sources and military experts to shed light on attacks attributed to the Israeli Air Force in Syria in recent months. Syria and other involved parties have declined to detail the nature of targeted sites.
According to the report, the majority of sites allegedly targeted — including in Hisya
, near Homs, Jamariya, west of Damascus, the Damascus neighborhood of Al-Kiswah
and Masyaf — have one common feature.
They're all seemingly civilian industrial sites but, in reality, are Iranian military factories built since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.
Alleged IAF strike on Iranian base in Syria Dec. 02, 2017.
The report referred to the Jamariya site that included a scientific center, destroyed at the start of the Syrian crisis by Israel, and nearby security and intelligence centers that were transformed into military bases in Mount Qasioun, overlooking Damascus, that have been attacked multiple times.
The site and its surroundings also included radar bases which Israel believes are used to disrupt fighter jet abilities, in addition to factories producing surface-to-air missiles developed by Iran under the supervision of Hezbollah.
According to Al-Jarida
sources, Israel has taken action across Syria in order to "blind Syrian defensive capabilities" ahead of a major Israeli military operation in cooperation with the US, resulting from Israel's perception of an Iranian military presence in Syria, in addition to Lebanon, as a tangible threat.
The Al-Kiswah base contained Iranian facilities and Hezbollah bases in addition to weaponry depots and a factory for the construction of advanced missiles. According to the report, Tehran has been building weaponry depots and factories in different areas of Syria and has transferred missile parts to the site, where they are constructed according to needs on the ground.
In other words, Iran has not been constructing its missiles in a single location due to its fear of the site being attacked.
New information relating to Hisya, near Homs, was also published. According to foreign reports, Israel attacked the site in November 2017.
The base, located 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Homs, was used for the production of Iranian precision missiles. The missiles were produced in a factory owned by a Lebanese businessman linked to Hezbollah, Abd Al Nur Shalan, who was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department in 2015 due to his connections with the military activity of Hezbollah.
According to the information, Shalan is acting under the alias Yasser Muhmad. Another Lebanese businessman, Abd Al-Kareem Ali, was also mentioned in the report due to his connections to Iranian military industry and cooperation with Hezbollah on Syrian soil.
Unlike other bases allegedly struck by Israel, the Hisya facility
is located within a civilian industrial area.
Military experts told the Kuwaiti newspaper the facility proves that Tehran has started to hide its military activity in Syria, as it does in Iran itself, and is developing Syrian weaponry in civilian facilities, such as centers for agricultural and technological research, as it did in Lebanon. There, Iran set up factories and bases for Hezbollah in industrial areas located between Lebanese cities and towns.