Satellite image showing the development and production of surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) in the area of Wadi Jahannam .
(photo credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL (ISI))
New satellite images of an area in northwestern Syria show the establishment a new Iranian surface-to-surface missile factory which may house weapons capable of striking Israel.
The images taken by ImageSat International (ISI) purport to show evidence suggesting that Iran is continuing to build various facilities related to the development and production of surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) in the area of Wadi Jahannam near Baniyas in northwestern Syria similar to structures built at SSM facilities in Parchin and Khojir in Iran..
“Therefore, it is probable that the same elements are responsible for their planning and construction,” ImageSat wrote in their analysis, adding that the facility is nearing completion and will be in operation by early 2019.
While ImageSat assessed that Iran is assisting Syria’s SSM capabilities for the Syrian civil war, “since those conflicts are currently smaller and less widespread than before, it is possible that the Iranian efforts are for future use by Hezbollah or Iran itself against Israel as well,” it wrote.
Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.
Jerusalem has admitted to having carried out hundred of strikes in Syria and is accused of bombing the Al-Tala’i Research Center in Masyaf in September 2017.
According to ImageSat, both the facility in Masyaf and Wadi Jahannam SSM facilities are located within the operational range of a Russian S-400 deployment, showing that Iran is “utilizing or exploiting the defense abilities of Russia.”
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Russia deployed the advanced mobile S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft batteries to Syria in October 2017. The batteries can engage multiple aircraft and ballistic missiles at a distance of up to 380 km., covering virtually all of Syria as well as significant parts of Israel, Turkey and Jordan.
Jerusalem has said it would not allow Iran to set up a permanent presence in Syria and Israeli officials have met with their Russian counterparts numerous times to stress this issue.
Last month Israel refused a Russian offer to keep Iranian troops in Syria 100 kilometers from Israel’s border. Officials stated Israel wants Iranian troops completely withdrawn from Syria. Russia has cautioned this is unrealistic.
On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned
that it would continue to act against the enemies of the Jewish State and has the means to destroy them.
“Those who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal,” he said during a ceremony at the country’s atomic reactor.
Two years ago the IDF noticed a strategic shift by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's Quds Force commander Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani to turn Syria into a strategic platform for the Islamic Republic.
In the past year, the IDF noticed that Soleimani has been deploying advanced air defense systems with a range of up to 110 km. that could threaten Israel’s freedom of action in Syria.
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