Tabnak – During more than six years of the Syrian conflict, Israel has directly or indirectly supported armed rebel and terrorist groups, targeting the positions of the Syrian army. In a latest such move, Israeli warplanes on Thursday hit a target in Hama province with the excuse that it was a base to produce chemical weapons.
New York Times reported earlier on Thursday that Syria had accused Israel of conducting an overnight strike on a military base. The Syrian military reported the attack, saying it had left two people dead near the town of Masyaf in western Syria and had caused unspecified material damage.
Israeli officials did not comment on the strike, but a Syrian monitoring group and a former Israeli official claimed it had targeted a research site that produced chemical weapons.
"Israeli warplanes at 2:42 a.m. today fired a number of missiles from Lebanese air space, targeting one of our military positions near Masyaf, which led to material damage and the deaths of two members of the site,” the army said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement further warned against the "dangerous repercussions of this aggressive action to the security and stability of the region.”
"This aggression comes in a desperate attempt to raise the collapsed morale of the ISIS terrorists after the sweeping victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army against terrorism at more than one front, and it affirms the direct support provided by the Israeli entity to the ISIS and other terrorist organizations,” it added.
In a separate report, Sputnik News reports that the attack was carried out about 60 kilometers east of the city of Tartus, where Russia has a naval base. In March 2016, Putin ordered the pullout of the bulk of the Russian contingent in Syria as the campaign's objectives had broadly been completed.
Following Putin's announcement of the withdrawal, Moscow said that some Russian military personnel would remain at the Hmeymim air base as well as the naval facility at Tartus to observe the implementation of the ceasefire in Syria.
It should be noted that Israel has repeatedly hit targets in Syria during the country’s six-year civil war, most of them claimed to be weapons convoys belonging to Lebanese Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, although the Israeli excuse for the latest attack has been the use of the base to produce chemical weapons, the accusation appears to be totally baseless. The Syrian government once had large stockpiles of chemical weapons, but it agreed to give up under a 2013 agreement between Russia and the United States.
However, it’s also worth mentioning that the latest Israeli strike comes just days after the Syrian army, backed by popular defense groups and Russia airpower, managed to break the years-long siege imposed by the ISIS terror group on the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr.
Israel is known to have assisted Golan-based militants of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham or the Levant Liberation Board) with medical aid and military equipment since as early as 2013.