Syria Daily: Israel Strikes Chemical Weapons Base in Northwest

Smoke rises from the Assad regime's Masyaf base in Hama Province after an Israeli missile attack, July 22, 2018

Israeli missiles struck an Assad regime base in Hama Province in northwest Syria on Sunday.

The strike targeted the Masyaf base (see map), involved in chemical weapons production and believed to host a team of Iranian military experts, just before dusk.

Syria State media reported the the attack, but the Israeli military followed its customary practice of refusing comment.

Israel’s warplanes have periodically carried out raids during Syria’s 88-month conflict. Initially the Israelis sought to disrupt transfers and weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an Assad regime ally, and to deter the movement of Hezbollah and Iranian forces into southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Later they expanded the attacks to target Iranian personnel and positions as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded the withdrawal of Tehran’s military presence across Syria.

Last week, Israeli military struck the Nayrab base near Aleppo International Airport. Opposition sources said several Iranians were among those killed at the logistics site.

Netanyahu said on Sunday: “We are continuing to act in Syria to prevent Iranian entrenchment there.”

Masyaf was also attacked by the US on April 14, as the Americans targeted the Assad regime’s chemical weapons facilities, a week after a deadly chlorine assault on Douma near Damascus.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

63 COMMENTS

  1. The Israelis are wasting their time and money now. King Canute had more chance of stopping the tide from coming in than the Israelis have of stopping the Iranians. Israel has selfishly looked after their own interests and ignored the rebels. Oh yes, they have been giving a few of them medical aid but that is probably just so they look good in the world eye and more importantly to gain intelligence.
    The selfishness of all the countries involved will now come home to roost with more refugees to Europe, more genocide for the Syrians, more war for Israel and Turkey, conflict between America and Iran etc
    All of this could have been stopped easily years ago if it was not for Obama but here we are with Syria destroyed, nearly a million dead and more war on the horizon. With Trump as the American (puppet) President and Putin pulling his strings things are going to get far worse.

    • Relax. The deal has been done. The US has agreed to leave Syria when Iran leave Syria. If everyone had been selfish and looked after the own interests, the civil war would have been over long ago and a lot more Syrians would be alive today.
      Syrians make up a small fraction of the refugees heading to Europe. Most of them were the result of US and NATO militarism. Many Syrian refugees are returning. Clinton herself admitted that the war in Syria was had a great deal to do with Israel.
      Thankfully the adults are back in charge.

      • Clinton never made any such statement.

        And, no, “many” of the 6.6 million Syrian refugees are returning.

        Nor was the 2011 uprising a “result of US and NATO militarism”.

        • Clinton never made any such statement.

          She forwarded an email with such a statement. Obama also told Jeffrey Goldberg that one of the benefits of overthrowing Assad would be the isolation of Iran.

          And, no, “many” of the 6.6 million Syrian refugees are returning.

          They are starting too. As more return home, more will follow.

          Nor was the 2011 uprising a “result of US and NATO militarism”.

          The civil war that followed certainly was. Hence why we are seeing the opposition collapse so catastrophically as soon as support has been withheld.

          • Forwarding an e-mail is not the same as making a statement. I have forwarded many statements with which I disagree. You are also distorting Obama’s comments to Goldberg.

            The rest of the post is unsupported propaganda.

      • If Iran leaves syria who will deal with ISIS’s counter insurgence?, the SAA?. No way, they are stuck there for a long time same as the US and Russia. This situation is like Viktor Suvorov’s saying about the KGB: one ruble to get in, two to get out.

            • The US will withdraw from Syria. That’s the agreement the US have made with Russia and which Israel have also signed on to.

              It is unlikely the US will go after Iran, but if they do, it will likely be some at another time and place

              • The US couldn’t even deal with Iraq. Iran is 4 times the size with twice the population and far more challenging terrain.

                Not a chance the US public will support another losing war

              • Loosing? Takes 1/3rd of US naval and air assets to raze it to ashes, Not counting the massive internal uprising that would follow.

              • Yes losing. And no, unless the US resorts to nukes, it has no hope of raising it to ashes.

                Oh and as for your prediction about massive internal uprising that would follow, that’s adout as laughable as the prediction that “we would be greeted as liberators.” 🙂

              • Takes 1/3rd of US naval and air assets to raze it to ashes, Not counting the massive internal uprising that would follow.

                The only massive internal uprising would be the Iranians uniting against the US

              • “how the Mission Was Accomplished back in 2003”

                Saddam and the baathists are no longer in power.. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

              • Saddam and the baathists are no longer in power.. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

                For Iran. Bush regrets making that gaff. 15 yrs later the “Mission” is still a work in progress.

                Today the Iran’s main enemy has been removed, Shiites are in power, 60% of Iraq has been handed to Iran.

        • Counter insugency is what Iran/Russia/Syria have been doing. ISIS are wiped out. Even the tiny pockets hiding in caves in the desert were eradicated by Syrian forces.

          The only pockets of ISIS left are those under the protection of the US East of the Euphrates and on the border with the Golan.

          • “Counter insugency is what Iran/Russia/Syria have been doing. ISIS are wiped out.”

            Russian gold! When were the SAA and ruskies ever fighting ISIS? There was that brief moment when they raced to the Euphrates to try and hang on to the natural resources in the area, outside of that, hard to recall a single time.

            The ruskies, iranians, syrians, etc know full well that the US has been the one doing the dirty work ( with help ) against ISIS. They were reminded about that, the last time they crossed the euphrates

            • When were the SAA and ruskies ever fighting ISIS?
              From day 1. As you will have noticed, the only pockets of ISIS left are in regions controlled by the US or the border with Israeli occupied Golan.
              There was that brief moment when they raced to the Euphrates to try and hang on to the natural resources in the area, outside of that, hard to recall a single time.
              The race to the Euphrates was with the US and it’s allies.
              The ruskies, iranians, syrians, etc know full well that the US has been the one doing the dirty work ( with help ) against ISIS.

              Yes, dirty work as in supporting and arming them, and on occasion, acting as the air force of ISIS.

          • Saddam and the baathists are no longer in power.. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

            Clearly not. Bush regrets making that gaff. That was back in 2003 and 15 yrs later the “Mission” is still a work in progress.

            Today the Shiites are in power and 60% of Iraq has been handed to Iran.

            Mission accomplished for Iran.

    • Clever move. By saving them Israel discredits the islamist cause, there’s no worst thing to wreck an opponent’s reputation in the eyes of their sympathizers than to associated him with israel (unless of course epsilon-minus semi-moron pro-russians fascists and neonazis who still believe that russia is an anti-zionist entity).

      How Russian nationalism explains Putin’s outreach to Jews and Israel:

      https://www.jta.org/2018/07/19/news-opinion/russian-nationalism-motivates-putins-jewish-outreach-home-towards-israel

      • Don’t confuse Trumps incoherent diatribes with Putin’s policies. Trump is a puppet on the string of Sheldon Adelson, whereas Putin is merely tolerates Israel. Ironically it is Israel who are siding up neo Nazis in Ukraine and anti semites in Hungary.

        Did you miss Putin’s comments claim that Russian Jews manipulated US elections? Dol you think Putin was bragging?
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/11/putin-condemned-for-saying-jews-may-have-manipulated-u-s-election/?noredirect=on

        • Lol, you sound desperate to prove that Putin’s russia is not one of israel’s strategic allies. Which world do you live in?, bilateral trade between them is huge, russian jewish population is massive, etc.

          “Ironically it is Israel who are siding up neo Nazis in Ukraine and anti semites in Hungary”

          As if die-hard pro-russians and duginist freaks were not staunch supporters of monsieur Viktor Orbán!

          “Did you miss Putin’s comments claim that Russian Jews manipulated US elections? Dol you think Putin was bragging?”

          His words were:

          “Maybe they’re not even Russians,” Putin told Megyn Kelly, referring to who might have been behind the election interference. “Maybe they’re Ukrainian, Tatars, Jews — just with Russian citizenship.”

          This ridicule statement is your prove against israel’s strategic alliance with russia?? haha. Bad news Andre, you can’t be pro-russian and anti-zionist at the same time without engaging in deep cognitive dissonance…

          Trump, russia, the likud, Orbán, etc, are all in the same boat.

          • BSAS,

            You haven’t thought your thesis through.

            bilateral trade between them is huge, russian jewish population is massive, etc.

            So is bilateral trade between Russia and Europe or the US and China. Is Russia allies with Europe? Is China allied with the US?

            As if die-hard pro-russians and duginist freaks were not staunch supporters of monsieur Viktor Orbán!

            Those freaks are not in government.

            Bad news Andre, you can’t be pro-russian and anti-zionist at the same time without engaging in deep cognitive dissonance…

            Actually you can seeing as the two ideologies have no connection whatsoever.

            If Trump, russia, the likud, Orbán, etc, are all in the same boat, Russia would never have gone into Syria in the first place and Israel would not be allied with Russia’s enemies in the Ukraine

            • “So is bilateral trade between Russia and Europe or the US and China. Is Russia allies with Europe? Is China allied with the US?”

              Of course, they are all federated under the foot of the same Global Market. What now exists its ongoing and partial antagonism between a group of nation-states (Trump’s US, Russia, Israel, visegrad group etc) and those wich firmly uphold the present statu quo.

              Are you of those who still think that inter-national relations and logic are the ones that rule the affairs of this world?

              “Actually you can seeing as the two ideologies have no connection whatsoever.”

              Of course they have. they are a modern and decadent form of old nationalism. Putinisme, The likud, Rassemblement National (FN), Lega Nord, etc, are all natural allies.

              “If Trump, russia, the likud, Orbán, etc, are all in the same boat, Russia would never have gone into Syria in the first place and Israel would not be allied with Russia’s enemies in the Ukraine”

              Russia has two functions in syria: defend its interests and then protect israel’s ones.

              • What now exists its ongoing and partial antagonism between a group of nation-states (Trump’s US, Russia, Israel, visegrad group etc) and those wich firmly uphold the present statu quo.
                Which goes to prove that bilateral trade is not evidence of any alliance.
                Of course they have. they are a modern and decadent form of old nationalism. Putinisme, The likud, Rassemblement National (FN), Lega Nord, etc, are all natural allies.
                Sorry but you are just clutching at straws. Russia and China are also natural allies, but no one would argue that they stem from the same form of old nationalism.
                Nazism was a brand of old nationalism too, so good luck explaining that to Zionists.
                Russia has two functions in syria: defend its interests and then protect israel’s ones.
                Wrong. Russia has done nothing to protect Israel’s interests. In fact, by going into Syria, Russia has strengthened all of Israel’s enemies.

              • “Which goes to prove that bilateral trade is not evidence of any alliance”

                Opean your eyes, you don’t have massive bilateral trade and open frontiers with someone you are openly at war with!

                “Russia and China are also natural allies, but no one would argue that they stem from the same form of old nationalism”

                There’s a strategic difference. China is pushing for free trade and free market, Russia on the other hand, is in the opposite side of the equation (in the the Trump camp)

                “Nazism was a brand of old nationalism too, so good luck explaining that to Zionists”

                Both of them are ideologically very close, check:
                “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil” by Hannah Arendt.

                Zionism is an european supremacist ideology wich migrated to middle east, that’s why all modern european identitarian leaders adhere to it. Zionists are naturally racists and anti-semitic (anti-arab) same thing for their european counterpart.

                “Russia has done nothing to protect Israel’s interests”

                Russia is protecting its interests and trying to guaranteed israel’s saftey in the region at the same time. You are the only one not following this ongoing debate.

              • Opean your eyes, you don’t have massive bilateral trade and open frontiers with someone you are openly at war with!

                Talk about a collapsing thesis. First you claimed bilateral trade was evidence of an alliance. Now you arguing it merely proves the two sides are not at war.

                China is pushing for free trade and free market, Russia on the other hand, is in the opposite side of the equation (in the the Trump camp)

                100 % Wrong. Russia is well and truly on the China side of the equation. They just signed a $400 billion gas deal with China. They about to invest 50 billion in Iran just as Trump is threatening anyone doing business with Iran.

                Russia’s investment in Iran is more than 20 times the invested in Israel. Add to that the recent complaint by Trump that Germany were too beholden to Russia for their gas supplies.

                Russia is hugely in favor of free trade and free markets. It is the US that is sanctioning everything.

                “Eichmann in Jerusalem”

                At the time Russia were at war with USSR.

                Russia is protecting its interests and trying to guaranteed israel’s saftey in the region at the same time.

                You got the first part right. In order to protect it’s interests, Russia has to play a balancing act to placate not only Israel, but Iran, Turkey and the US. Israel’s safety is neither under threat nor of concern to Russia.

                You are entirely wrong on the facts

        • ” Ironically it is Israel who *(are siding up) neo Nazis in Ukraine”

          *Is turning a blind eye to. Important distinction.

          “and anti semites in Hungary.”

          Israel supports Jobbik? Since when?

  2. […] Israelische Kampfflieger haben im Laufe des 88-monatigen Syrienkonflikts gelegentlich Angriffe in dem Land geflogen. Zunächst ging es den Israelis darum, Waffenlieferungen an die mit dem Assad-Regime verbündete libanesische Hisbollah zu unterbinden und ein Vorrücken der Hisbollah und iranischer Streitkräfte in die südwestsyrische Grenzregion in den Golanhöhen zu verhindern. Inzwischen sind die Angriffe auf iranische Truppen und Stellungen in ganz Syrien ausgedehnt worden und Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanyahu hat einen vollständigen Abzug des iranischen Militärs verlangt. Vergangene Woche griffen die Israelischen Streitkräfte den Nayrab-Stützpunkt in der Nähe des internationalen Flughafens von Aleppo an. Aufständische Quellen gaben an, unter den bei dem Angriff auf den Logistikstandort Getöteten seien mehrere Iraner gewesen. (…) Masyaf war am 14. April auch von den Amerikanern angegriffen worden. Damals gingen die USA eine Woche nach dem tödlichen Chlorgasangriff des Assad-Regimes im nahe Damaskus gelegenen Douma gegen Anlagen des Regimes vor, die für dessen Chemiewaffenprogramm von Bedeutung sind.“ (Scott Lucas: „Syria Daily: Israel Strikes Chemical Weapons Base in Northwest“) […]

  3. Yeah sure…like the taliban were also wiped out lol. How many times we have to hear the same mantra?, have you learned nothing?.

    You innocently assume that their lack of territorial control implies their coming to an end, plus useless syrian forces can erradicate nothing, they need massive and perpetual foreign support.

    Only the US has the means to cope with a long and costly counter-insurgency campaing, if they are gone all the burden will fall on the crappy axis economies, good luck with that…

    • @ Andre De Angelis July 23

      “Counter insugency is what Iran/Russia/Syria have been doing. ISIS are wiped out.”

    • Yeah sure…like the taliban were also wiped out lol. How many times we have to hear the same mantra?, have you learned nothing?

      When did anyone claim the Taliban were wiped out? Wasn’t the perpetual excuse for not withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan was the fact the Taliban were still alive an well? You are being confused by facts on the ground with propaganda. When the US were occupying Iraq, they kept coming up with excuses to remain while insisting they were winning.

      You innocently assume that their lack of territorial control implies their coming to an end, plus useless syrian forces can erradicate nothing, they need massive and perpetual foreign support.

      The Tiger forces have never lost a battle and Syrian forces are not receiving massive support. The support they have received from Iraq and Russia has been very modest.

      Only the US has the means to cope with a long and costly counter-insurgency campaing

      Not really. You see, the US is always going to be at a massive disadvantage by the mere fact it is a foreign occupier. The insurgents will always have the advantage of disappearing back into the population to re-emerge when it suits them. The counter insurgency in Syria are Syrians and their intelligence assets have been spectacularly successful in infiltrating rebel groups and eradicating them from the inside.

      • “When did anyone claim the Taliban were wiped out?”

        Follow the long war journal, do some homework. The US was always insisting that they were winning and that the talibans were done (same statements as you now about ISIS, in fact you are claming ISIS is done since at least 2016 lol).

        “The Tiger forces have never lost a battle and Syrian forces are not receiving massive support. The support they have received from Iraq and Russia has been very modest.”

        This guy indeed lives in a parallel universe. TIger forces (along with the ridicule figure of suhail hassan) are more a propaganda tool than a decisive factor in the battlefield. They have less than a thousand men, if you think they are the ones carrying the burden of the battle your are frankly deluded.

        “The support they have received from Iraq and Russia has been very modest”

        You are beyond redemption.

        “Not really. You see, the US is always going to be at a massive disadvantage by the mere fact it is a foreign occupier. The insurgents will always have the advantage of disappearing back into the population to re-emerge when it suits them. The counter insurgency in Syria are Syrians and their intelligence assets have been spectacularly successful in infiltrating rebel groups and eradicating them from the inside.”

        No one is talking about “rebels” here. You are talking about die-hard islamist wich have survived everything the US thrown at them in iraq.

        • The US was always insisting that they were winning and that the talibans were done

          Feel free to cite any such claims by the DOD or Washington. The last I heard the Long War Journal had a tiny readership and did not speak for Washington.

          TIger forces (along with the ridicule figure of suhail hassan) are more a propaganda tool than a decisive factor in the battlefield. They have less than a thousand men

          That has limited their ability to be deployed on multiple fronts but that number of elite fighters is more than adequate to make a decisive difference on one front.

          You are beyond redemption.

          Non sequitir. The deployment of Russian and Iranian forces in Syria remains very small. Those deployments have been decisive but not massive.

          You are talking about die-hard islamist wich have survived everything the US thrown at them in iraq.

          Not when Iraqi forces became strong enough to carry out the fighting themselves. Again, it makes a huge difference when local forces are involved.

        • “The Tiger forces have never lost a battle and Syrian forces are not receiving massive support. The support they have received from Iraq and Russia has been very modest.”

          Tiger force never lost a battle against who? Because we all remember the disastrous retreat during the rebel’s Idlib campaign. And Hassan on crutches asking the regime for more assets, which never arrived. No russian CAS, not an inch of ground taken.

          • Because we all remember the disastrous retreat during the rebel’s Idlib campaign.

            Tiger forces were not involved in Idlib.

            No russian CAS, not an inch of ground taken.

            Actually, Russia has rarely provided CAS.

            • ahahahahahah they were indeed. And they run the whole way down south. And many were mowed down like flies with Hassan begging for help on the radio lol Another lie you wanna add to your never ending list?

              • Andre,

                Forgive my intrusion into your conversation but that’s flat-out wrong. Russian air support was essential in the pro-Assad offensive — without it, there were almost no advances on the ground.

                S.

              • Are you referring to CAS or air support in general Scott? I a not negating the effectiveness of the Russian air support, but the Syrian air force comprises over 500 planes. They played the lead role in providing CAS

              • Before the Russian aerial operations, the pro-Assad offensive and its CAS only captured a few villages in eastern Daraa Province.

              • Tiger forces were used and got their asses kicked black and white in idlib. Wanna me take you down the video of Hassan crying on the radio? Stop your BS andre you are pathetic as with the russian CAS issue. How much bs you can produce in 3 lines is amazing.

              • Before the Russian aerial operations, the pro-Assad offensive and its CAS only captured a few villages in eastern Daraa Province.

                That is true, but that in itself is not evidence. One could argue that the rebels were at their strongest and most belligerent at the beginning of the campaign to retake Daraa, and offered the greatest resistance and that towards the end of the campaign, many villages surrendered to avoid being wiped out.

                So in many ways, the Syrian forces fif the heavy lifting at the beginning

              • Too funny. Got their asses kicked but somehowmanaged to capture 200 towns and villages from militant groups as well as reclaim the long-lost Abu Duhur military airport.

                Hasan wasn’t crying on any radio. People even claimed he was killed in 2015. Talk about producing BS.

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