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Israeli intel firm: Friday airstrikes in Syria hit missile production facility

Satellite images show one building completely destroyed, another damaged following last week’s reported bombing near Aleppo

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The results of a reported Israeli airstrike on a missile production in the town of al-Safira, outside Aleppo, in northern Syria on September 11, 2020. (ImageSat International)
The results of a reported Israeli airstrike on a missile production in the town of al-Safira, outside Aleppo, in northern Syria on September 11, 2020. (ImageSat International)

A reported Israeli airstrike on Friday targeted a missile production facility outside Aleppo, completely destroying one building and damaging another, according to satellite images released by a private Israeli intelligence firm.

“The attack intended to weaken missile production in Syria, probably for Hezbollah, by harming its crucial elements,” said the company, ImageSat International, which specializes in satellite imagery analysis.

The strike was said to target the Syrian regime’s missile factory in al-Safira, outside Aleppo, in northern Syria.

The Israel Defense Forces did not comment on the reported strikes, in accordance with its longstanding policy to neither confirm nor deny its activities in Syria.

The Aleppo region, near the Syrian border with Turkey, is an uncommon — but not unprecedented — site for reported Israeli airstrikes.

According to ImageSat, the two buildings that were hit in the strike “played a significant part in the missile production at the al-Safirah Missile Factory.”

The results of a reported Israeli airstrike on a missile production in the town of al-Safira, outside Aleppo, in northern Syria on September 11, 2020. (ImageSat International)

Satellite images taken on Sunday showed at least some of the damage caused by the strike. One building, which ImageSat said likely contained explosives, was completely leveled in the attack. The second building sustained significant damage.

Israel rarely publicly confirms details of its operations in the country, but has long maintained that it would take action against Iran’s military presence in Syria and efforts to supply terror groups in the region with advanced munitions.

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011. It has targeted government troops, allied Iranian forces, and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

Earlier this month, the Syrian SANA state news agency said that the Israeli military launched missiles at targets near the central city of Homs.

The results of a reported Israeli airstrike on the Damascus International Airport on August 31, 2020. (ImageSat International)

According to the SANA, Israeli jets fired “a burst of missiles” at the T-4 Syrian military airbase, the largest in the country, at 10:23 p.m., from the area of al-Tanf, a US-controlled region of Syria near the Iraq border.

A Syrian opposition group claimed that the strike killed 16 Iran-backed fighters.

The Israeli military has long maintained that the T-4 base, also known as Tiyas base, is being used by Iran to move weapons throughout the region, including to Hezbollah, and to conduct its own operations.

The reported strikes on September 2 came two days after Israel was said to have launched missiles at targets in Syria’s south, killing at least two Syrian soldiers. A Syrian civilian woman was also reportedly killed when a Syrian military anti-aircraft missile struck her home.

That reported strike appeared to be the first by Israel on targets in Syria since a July 20 attack in which a Hezbollah fighter was killed, prompting the Lebanese terror group to vow revenge for his death and sparking as-yet-unresolved tensions.

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