New images reveal evidence of an attack on a secretive missile facility in Syria. The photos, released by ImageSat International (ISI) on Sunday, show that two structures at al-Safirah missile factory near Aleppo were hit.ISI assessed an intelligence report that this attack was “intended to weaken the missile production in Syria.” It also said this factory may have been producing missiles for Hezbollah. Crucial “elements” of the site were hit.
#ISI reveals evidence of an #attack (11 September 2020) of two structures in #AlSafirah #Missile Factory, #Aleppo, #Syria. #Assessment: the attack intended to weaken the missile production in Syria, probably for #Hizballah, by harming its crucial elements.#IMINT #AI pic.twitter.com/zh6rWFZZJc— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) September 13, 2020
ImageSat International frequently reveals important information using satellites about sensitive sites and airstrikes like this. On September 3, it also revealed images of an airstrike at Damascus International Airport.The Syrian regime and its media have blamed Israel for some airstrikes over the last several years. On the day the images were revealed, ISI said the strike could send a “strategic message to Tehran.” The satellite company also revealed that a blast at a secretive missile facility in Iran in June at Khojir likely temporarily halted missile production.
The airstrike at al-Safirah took place on September 11. It came a week after two other airstrikes in Syria that regime media and others reported. One structure at the missile factory played a role in missile production, ISI said. “The facility, which probably contained explosives, was destroyed,” it said, adding that a second structure, which may have had machinery, was damaged.The images make it hard to determine what these buildings were. They look like two-story structures. They are not fancy and do not stand out. They are off a road, apparently part of a larger facility.Many Syrian regime facilities like this look the same. They are not, in this sense, interesting to look at. This fits the model of Iran’s network of missile production facilities across the region.Tehran has sent missiles to Iraq. It has sent precision-guided munitions to Hezbollah via Syria. It has also sought to help Hezbollah build factories in Lebanon.Israel carried out more than 1,000 airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria, former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said in January 2009.Al-Safirah has been struck before, according to local accounts. It was hit in May when Syrian air defense tried to stop an airstrike. In April 2019, an alleged Syrian surface-to-surface missile site near Masyaf was struck, causing damage to a factory. ISI also published satellite photos of the site. It was constructed between 2014 and 2016, it said.This shows the extraordinary number of these kinds of sites, many allegedly linked to or controlled by Iran. Tehran has recently announced new, longer ranges for missiles, cruise missiles and drones, as well as better guidance, drones and air-defense systems. Iran tried to send its 3rd Khordad air-defense system to Syria in April 2018, Ynet reported.In addition, Iran built the Imam Ali base near Albukamal, close to the Iraqi border. That site also has been hit by airstrikes many times. Iran also uses a network to smuggle weapons via the T-2, T-3 and T-4 bases in Syria.On September 3, Arabic media accused Israel of a strike on the T-4 base near Palmyra. The same site was reported by Syrian media to have been hit in April and July of 2018.