The Assad regime’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, Masyaf, Homs Province, Syria
Israel has again struck one of the Assad regime’s major conventional and chemical weapons complexes, according to multiple reports.
State news agency SANA and regime outlets said the attack was on the Masyaf complex in Homs Province. The Scientific Studies for Research Center is central to the development of missiles and chemical munitions.
Masyaf is also a base for Iranian forces and Iranian-supported foreign militias.
As usual, the regime military said at least one Israeli missile, fired from aircraft over northern Lebanon, had been shot down by defenses.
#Syria: moment when air defenses were activated tonight over #Homs province to intercept #Israel|i missiles targeting area of #Masyaf (W. #Hama). Attack officially acknowledged by State media. pic.twitter.com/wzEeg3op1j
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) August 15, 2019
Last month, an Israeli intelligence firm said advanced S-300 Russian air defense missile systems, finally delivered to the regime last year, were now operational around Masyaf. However, there has been no evidence to date that the S-300s have been used against periodic Israeli strikes.
In July, Israel not only targeted Masyaf’s missile production, but also may have been responsible for the assassination of a leading chemical weapons and missile scientist, Dr Aziz Esber, in a car bombing.
Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Assad regime, Iranian, and Hezbollah targets during Syria’s eight-year conflict. The attacks initially focused on Iranian transfers of weapons and missiles to Hezbollah and on the movement of Iranian and Hezbollah personnel to southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In the past 18 months, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding Iranian military withdrawal from Syria, Israel expanded the raids to targets Assad regime bases with Iranian personnel throughout the country.
The attacks were paused after a Russian surveillance plane was downed in September by an Assad regime air defense missile during Israeli strikes on western Syria. However, they resumed in December, including on Masyaf.
Israel has also targeted the al-Kisweh base near Damascus with Iranian forces; another base near Aleppo; warehouses at Damascus International Airport; and other Iranian targets across southern Syria.
Last month, multiple targets near Damascus were struck, and a base for Iranian-backed militias was hit near the Golan Heights.