Syria Daily: Large Explosions at Regime Base Near Hama — But What Caused Them?

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Israeli is prime suspect in attack on base where Iran-backed militia are stationed


MONDAY FEATURES

The UK Academics Accusing Journalists of Ties With “Terrorism”
Why Syria’s “Regime Change Plot” Narrative Doesn’t Make Sense


UPDATE 1430 GMT: Bashar al-Assad has tried to express defiance after last night’s attack on one of his regime’s bases.

Meeting an Iranian delegation led by MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Assad said, “The fact that hostile countries have shifted to a stage of direct aggression, after the fiasco that has befallen their agents and tools, will only increase the Syrians’ determination to eliminate terrorism in all its forms, and uphold their sovereignty and their right to shape their own future.”


UPDATE 1355 GMT: The Assad regime has continued attacks on villages and towns in northern Homs Province, near the site of last night’s explosion at a regime base.

Opposition activists reported more than 40 barrel bombs, rockets, and shelling on areas including the key town of Rastan in the pocket. They said at least four civilians were killed and 20 others injured.

Pro-Assad forces have been trying for months to overrun the area, which is outside a de facto protected zone established in northwest Syria by Turkish forces alongside rebels.

Talks for a capitulation agreement with Russian officials have reportedly resumed this afternoon.


UPDATE 1320 GMT: A leading Iranian outlet said 18 Revolutionary Guards were killed in the explosition at the 47th Brigade base on Monday night.

The Iranian Students News Agency, quoting Guards officials, said other personnel were wounded.

The outlet said Iran’s “advisors” and Afghan, Iraqi, and Lebanese militia were positioned at the base, with training yards and weapons depots that were detonated by the explosions.

“An official from [the pro-Assad] regional alliance” — likely to be from Hezbollah — said the strikes hit a storage facility on the base, destroying 200 missiles and killed 16 people, including 11 Iranians.

However, Iran’s conservative Tasnim later cited an unnamed regime official denying that missiles had struck the base, let alone killed Iranian personnel.


There were large explosions at an Assad regime military base in northwest Syria late Sunday, but the reason — and who exactly is stationed at the facility — is still being debated.

Syrian State media reported the blasts south of the city of Hama and in Aleppo Province at about 10:30 pm. “Syria is being exposed to a new aggression with some military bases in rural Hama and Aleppo hit with enemy rockets,” an army official said.

Reports said the targets were the 47th Brigade Base and a position near the Salhab area in northern Hama Province, and a location outside the Nayrab airbase in Aleppo Province.

Videos showed the bright extent of the detonations.

The pro-opposition Orient News said the 47th Brigade base is being used by Iran-supported militias who are “heavily involved” in attacks in the area.

Speculation centered on airstrikes by the Israel Defense Forces, who have periodically hit Assad regime facilities to limit transfer of missiles and weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an ally of the regime, and to deter an expansion of the Iranian presence and operations.

The IDF does not comment on its activity inside Syria.

Earlier Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, “We will maintain freedom of operation in all of Syria”, and will not be deterred if Russia supplies the Assad regime with advanced air defense systems.

“[We] “will prevent Iran from establishing a forward base in Syria at any cost,” Liberman added.

In both February and earlier this month, Israeli warplanes fired missiles on the T-4 base in central Syria, with several Iranian personnel reportedly among the casualties.

See Israel Again Attacks Regime Airbase and Iranian Personnel in Central Syria

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91 COMMENTS

  1. More than likely another attack by Israel, who have been carrying out these attacks every few weeks, while remaining silent.

    In true Israeli form, they are evidently trying to provoke a response from the Iranians which they will then use as justification to escalate the conflict and drag the US into it.

    • But but, Iranians have said they will strike hard at Israel — just like the Russians struck hard at US warships, almost precipitating WWIII. 😀

  2. How strange. This time no interception of 150 missiles out of 10 launched ? :) Israel rocking assad in central Syria whilst the US rocks it east. Western role picking up fast. Iran target number one.

    • Confirmation that coalition forces bombed and repelled iranian/assadist advances in deirzzor.

      Confirmation Caligula? It seems you are a little to anxious for some satisfaction. Replies to that tweet point out that CJTFOIR has no such statement on their page.

    • I hope the SDF starts taking back the beach-head that Assad captured at the start. This incursion by SAA should give a good excuse to SDF to attack the beach-head of SAA intelligence and Russian 2-bit fighter mercs.

        • Not so much. I have no idea what it was about. Just that he was mocked mercilessly for being cartoonish at the time.

        • Let me go ahead and call how this is going to go down before the axis apologists start throwing fits. They are all going to simply deny everything including the terror regime in Tehran(whom some Israelis apparently root for). There will be loads of disinformation, spin, and conspiracy theories. They will desperately evoke comparisons to Iraq despite its irrelevance to Iran. Anybody who reads the news knows what I’m talking about. Guys like Andre and Reza will be here shortly to deny everything. Yes, Iran had a nuclear weapons program. It’s been obvious for some time. Countries with peaceful nuclear power don’t hide their plants.

          • Yes, Iran had a nuclear weapons program. It’s been obvious for some time.

            In that case Kevin, you would have to declare that all US and Israeli intelligence agencies, as well as the IAEA are lying seeing as they all say otherwise.

            Countries with peaceful nuclear power don’t hide their plants.

            What nuclear plant has Iran ever hidden.

            • There are a dozen facilities that Iran hid. Such as the one in Arak and the plutonium plant in Tehran.

              Iran was supposed to do its R&D in North Korea and probably paid billions for that. But now that is out the window. haha

              You Russian simpletons don’t understand the Iranian character. Iran is actively doing research on nukes at this moment. Now that NK has been disarmed, Iran is next.

            • The first part of your response is a flat out falsehood. The second part is such a dumb question that anyone with even a passing knowledge of Iran’s atomic program can answer that.

              • The first part of your response is a flat out falsehood.

                Wrong.
                Mossad contradicted Netanyahu on Iran nuclear programme
                https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/leaks-netanyahu-misled-iran-nuclear-programme-guardian-iran-nuclear-speech-2012-150218165622065.html

                U.S. report says Iran halted nuclear weapons program in 2003
                https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/world/americas/03iht-cia.5.8573960.html

                The second part is such a dumb question that anyone with even a passing knowledge of Iran’s atomic program can answer that.

                Name one plant that Iran tried to hide to hide.

                Give it your best shot Kevin. :)

              • Some more reading material. You can thank me later :)

                Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent
                https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-usa-nuclear/special-report-intel-shows-iran-nuclear-threat-not-imminent-idUSBRE82M0G020120323

                Israeli Intelligence Agrees With U.S. And IAEA That Iran Has Not Decided On Nuke Weapons
                https://thinkprogress.org/israeli-intelligence-agrees-with-u-s-and-iaea-that-iran-has-not-decided-on-nuke-weapons-7f70ccb7ae59/

                And the US is already distancing itself from Netanayhu’s BS
                http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-israel-iran-sought-nuclear-arms-54832838

              • Your reading comprehension is perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen.. For example, “U.S. report says Iran halted nuclear weapons program in 2003”. How do you get that Iran didn’t have a nuclear weapons program out of that? It says the opposite. It confirms they did have a weapons program, which is what I said and Iran always lied about. You seriously need help.

              • “U.S. report says Iran halted nuclear weapons program in 2003”. How do you get that Iran didn’t have a nuclear weapons program out of that?

                What do you not get about “halted nuclear weapons program in 2003”? You claimed they have one and are working on nukes now. Ooops!

                The fact that it took Iran till 2004/2005 to even master nuclear enrichment also begs the question as to what kind of nuclear weapons program Iran could have possibly had before 2003.

              • “You claimed they have one and are working on nukes now. Ooops!”

                No actually I never said that. Once again, your reading comp skills are non-existent. I said they HAD(as in past tense) a nuclear weapons program. Iran always denied EVER having a weapons program. Thus they are lying.

              • Iran always denied EVER having a weapons program. Thus they are lying.

                You’re parroting the official US intelligence position, not that of the IAEA or other governments. In December 2015, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano presented the Final Assessment on past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme to the IAEA Board of Governors.

                The Agency’s overall assessment was that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assessed that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.

                Based on the Director General’s report, the Board of Governors declared that its consideration of this issue was closed.

                If feasibility and scientific studies qualified as a nuclear weapons program, that would apply to pretty much every western nation with any scientific program. Activities relevant is another way of saying the activities were relevant to non nuclear weapons activities.

              • What do you think “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” means here?

              • What do you think “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” means here?

                Where do you begin?

                Many activities involved in civilian nuclear programs are dual use and also relevant to nuclear weapons.

                ie. uranium enrichment, heavy water production, procuring parts for centrifuges etc.

                Some others.

                If you take the example of initiation of high explosives and associated experiments, the IAEA noted that there are non-nuclear weapons applications for the development, but assessed that the work was “relevant to a nuclear explosive device.”

                In fact, the Iranians had published their research into high explosives in scientific journals and this admission was exploited to allege the Iranians were up to no good.

                The same with the allegations of Iran’s research into explosive bridge wire detonators which have “characteristics relevant to a nuclear explosive device” but also used extensively in mining.

              • “Nuclear explosive device” is IAEA’s phrasing for a nuclear weapon.

                Of course, but the phrase “activities relevant to” encompasses a range of activities relevant to non nuclear weapons activities and thus opens the door to ambiguity, as the IAEA themselves concede.

              • The IAEA has conceded no such thing, but thanks.

                Initiation of high explosives and associated experiments: Iran admitted to the IAEA in August and September 2015 that it conducted work on certain types of explosives, but had a “technical requirement for the development” of multipoint initiation explosive technology for conventional weaponry. The IAEA noted that there are non-nuclear weapons applications for the development , but assessed that the work was “relevant to a nuclear explosive device.”
                https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/iaea-investigations-irans-nuclear-activities

                And you’re welcome

              • If you’re going to cherry-pick from the document you’ve posted — the multipoint technology is only one part of a much wider program, set out in the IAEA report — you should probably mention the key finding:

                “The IAEA assessed that Iran’s program structure, computer modelling of a nuclear explosive device, and certain types of experiments with detonators were part of a nuclear weapons development program prior to 2003.”

              • the multipoint technology is only one part of a much wider program, set out in the IAEA report

                According to Yukia Amano, it wasn’t wide at all. He described these activities as not advancing beyond “feasibility and scientific studies”

                Iran didn’t even master enrichment till 2004/2005. It was only in 2010 that they began enriching to 20%.

              • Seriously, you need to stop. You either have no understanding of what Amano said or have chosen to misrepresent it.

                And I write that as someone who supports the position that Iran did not pursue nuclear weapons technology after 2003.

              • Seriously, you need to stop. You either have no understanding of what Amano said or have chosen to misrepresent it.

                I have a background in nuclear science and engineering and have submitted reports to safety bodies including the IAEA. I know how to read IAEA reports and have a well informed BS detector.

                And I write that as someone who supports the position that Iran did not pursue nuclear weapons technology after 2003.

                I understand and I admire the position you have taken on this. But the point is that the determination as to what constitutes a nuclear weapons program was never defined by the IAEA which has avoided using this phrase. Take this statement from the IAEA:

                In the report, the Agency assessed that, before the end of 2003, an organizational structure was in place in Iran suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.
                https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/statement-on-iran-by-the-iaea-spokesperson

                Seriously? “suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to“. One would be hard pressed to squeeze more qualifiers into a sentence. Does this not read like it was written to provide the IAEA with wriggle room while avoiding having to embarrass those who insisted that Iran had nuclear weapons program prior to 2003?

                I am sure you are familiar with the report of the PMD issues.
                https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gov-2015-68.pdf

                The only reference it makes to a nuclear weapons programs is “possible military dimension to its nuclear programme”. What is also curious is that the IAEA under Amano declared that the activities after 2003 “did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. ”

                Have you never thought it strange that Iran would embark on feasibility studies after 2003 if they did indeed have a nuclear weapons between 1989 and 2003?

              • Seriously, you really need to stop. As a “nuclear scientist and engineer”, you lack basic comprehension of the evidence and analysis in the IAEA reports.

          • “(whom some Israelis apparently root for [Iran])”

            I forget, what is the Hebrew word for “self-hating Jew”? Sev Erev or something like that?


      • Guess we better hope he leaves the bomb diagrams at home and doesn’t make a fool of himself again.

        Afraid he couldn’t help himself and went full David Copperfield with the dramatic reveal. I can just picture him rehearsing the whole routine in front of his wife.

    • Yea sure Amir. Need I remind you what Netanyahu’s intelligence said about Iraq’s nuclear weapons program in 2000?

      There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons – no question whatsoever”

      • The Duelfer (sp?) report that came out after the invasions says Saddam has set himself up to restart the nuke and WMD programs. The only way to stop him was to remove him.

        • The Duelfer (sp?) report that came out after the invasions says Saddam has set himself up to restart the nuke and WMD programs.

          Wrong. Said nothing about any bike program and made some baseless claim that Saddam intended to restart his non existent WMD program, while presenting no evidence to support the claim.

      • Thank you once again for proving my point by immediately evoking Iraq. LOLOL. So predictable as i demostrated above. You just really can’t help yourself. It’s the default response for all axis apologists.

  3. Just saw the presentation by Netanyahu. Can’t believe how lame it was. I almost laughed when he pulled back the sheets to reveal a bookshelf of binders and the other one displaying rows of CDs. A tad disappointed he didn’t finish the presentation by making those props disappear.

    I can’t wait for the parodies this will produce.

    All he did was regurgitate the accepted claim that Iran ended it’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the only way they could safeguard their scientific know how would be to secure papar documents in some vault.

    At no point did he even make the claim Iran is developing nukes or cheating on the JCPOA. This is nothing but a cheap stunt to justify Trump killling the deal.

  4. Didn’t Andre and Barbar defend Iran before 2015 claiming that Iran was not building a nuke, and it made no sense for Iran to build a nuke, and those who made such claims were pawns of the globe-devouring Yankee imperialists? That there were no solid evidence against Iran? Well here comes the evidence. 183 CDs worth of evidence that Iran was building nukes, despite its vociferous denials and despite our two friends evidence-free fake narrative denial that Iran is just trying to produce electricity (at about 6x the cost of natural gas fired power generation). In short — don’t believe anything they say, even if they claim the sky is blue.

    “Secret docs ‘conclusively prove’ Iran sought nuclear weapons Netanyahu says Iran’s secret nuclear files reveal that Iran’s nuclear program was designed to “test and build nuclear weapons.”

    In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu says Israel recently obtained 55,000 documents and 183 CDs of information from Iran’s “nuclear archives.”

    “These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program,” he says at a press conference in Tel Aviv. “The files prove that.”

    He says the US has vouched for the authenticity of the secret archive obtained by Israel, and that Israel will make the documents available to the UN atomic agency and other countries.”

    • Let’s remind what Netanyahu said back in 2000.

      There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons – no question whatsoever

      Even in his presentation, Netanyahu makes no claim that Iran is working on nukes. He only allegation is that Iran will be in a position to produce nukes when the JCPOA expires, which is total BS anyway because Iran will still be bound by that NPT.

    • He says the US has vouched for the authenticity of the secret archive obtained by Israel, and that Israel will make the documents available to the UN atomic agency and other countries.”

      Nothing he presented is new or constitutes any evidence. The most incriminating things he could dig up where vague quotes that Netanyahu insisted proved Iran’s intent. Some
      Lame graphs and photos that were already investigated and found to be part of a stash of documents that AQ Kahn sent to the Iranians that were part of a pile that he Iranians never asked for when they purchased some centrifuges.

      Epic fail!

      • Getting nervous huh? A bit to much to handle for you lately…..infinite israeli raids, Coalition cruise missiles hitting at pleasure, russians quite in their corner, no winning in sight for assad, no oil, lost 50% of the country pre war territory and now iran risking a boot in the face. I can understand the nervous uptick. Tough times for you ahead :)

        • Why would I be nervous? The raid isn’t going to change the fact that Assad/Iran/Russia won the war. 71 subsonic missiles were shot out of the sky and not a single military asset was damaged. Generals from Centcom, NATO and the Pentagon have all said Assad is winning or have won. Assad controls most of Syria and 90% of the populated areas.

          Meanwhile, after 17 years of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the US has squat to show for it other than 5 trillion in bills. :)

          • Sorry me bad. You already entered the final stage of meltdown…….which is fantastic to read btw.

              • Just to drop in with a factual point — although it has been kept low-key, the US-led coalition did cover the Syrian Democratic Forces as they retook the villages in western Deir ez-Zor Province.

                It didn’t get that much attention because (unlike the February episode) the pro-Assad forces pulled back before they were chewed up by airpower.

              • Pro-Assad forces took villages from Syrian Democratic Forces in western Deir ez-Zor, with SDF concentrating on ISIS pockets in north and east. SDF moved troops to west, coalition covered.

              • Coalition released a statement saying they only fired warning shots and avoided striking Syrian army. SOP much for Caligola’s wishful thinking that the SAA were bombed.

              • They didn’t need to bomb because pro-Assad forces withdrew after the warning shots.

              • So you really think that the SAA pulled out because of the goodness of their hearts in Western DEz? Then why is it that Assad so helplessly throws a temper tantrum every now and then that he will take the 50% of Syria that he does not control, back?

                Face it. Syria is partitioned. Now you go and build your mukhaberati death squads. You will need them to rule. Unless Israel blows up Bashar and Asthma first.

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