Syria releases video showing ‘damage from Israeli attack’
Footage broadcast on Syrian TV features burnt out cars and what looks to be destroyed SA-17 missile carrier at purported military research complex
Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.
A video broadcast on Syrian television Saturday purported to show the fallout from a reported Israeli strike on a Syrian research facility near Damascus several days earlier.
Footage broadcast features ruined buildings, a convoy of abandoned cars and trucks, and even one half-burnt tank, with melancholy oud music playing in the background. The video also appears to show a destroyed missile carrier.
The video ostensibly displays “the effects of the Israeli attack on Jamarya,” northwest of Damascus, where Syria claims the IDF struck a scientific research center overnight Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The footage shows trucks with huge, gaping holes and cars that were almost completely burnt, as well as a building — possibly a research facility — showing clear signs of damage, such as holes in the roof and walls and burn marks on its outer walls.
The video also shows what appears to be a destroyed mobile carrier for an SA-17 anti-aircraft missile battery.
According to foreign media reports, Israel struck a convoy carrying SA-17 missiles from Syria to Lebanon.
The research center is widely believed to have housed military projects. Syria reported the attack on it Wednesday evening, several hours after foreign media said Israeli jets had struck the convoy near the Syrian border with Lebanon.
Israel has expressed fears over the past several months that besieged Syrian President Bashar Assad might try to transfer weapons to Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, which Jerusalem termed a “red-line,” beyond which it would take action.
Israel has not officially acknowledged that it carried out the raids, although the US has indicated that Israel did so.
On Saturday, former national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland confirmed that it was Israel that carried out the strikes on several sites in Syria overnight Tuesday — “and with good reason.”
Speaking at an event in Kfar Saba Saturday, Eiland praised the Israeli government’s decision to carry out the strikes, saying it was “the right decision, despite all the risks.”
According to a report in Time magazine, the Jamarya complex included “warehouses stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons [and] relatively complicated systems typically manned by specially trained forces.”
Defected Syrian Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu, previously in charge of the country’s chemical weapons training program, said the site contained non-conventional weapons.
Another defected general, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, said Iranian and Russian experts were “habitually present” at the facility.
Iran and Syria have both threatened to retaliate against Israel for the reported attack, and Hezbollah, Russia, Turkey and others have condemned Israel for taking action.
Times of Israel staff and AP contributed to this report.