Syria on Wednesday publicly accused Israel of striking a scientific research center northwest of Damascus, denying reports that the strike had targeted a suspected shipment ofanti-aircraft missiles en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The description of the military research center that Syria claimed the IAF jets targeted fits the definition of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which has been labeled a state organization responsible for developing biological and chemical weapons and transferring them to Hezbollah and Hamas.
Time quoted a Western intelligence official as saying that the IAF had targeted at least one or two more targets overnight Tuesday and that the US has given Israel a green light to carry out additional strikes.
In air raids on Syria overnight Tuesday, Israeli jets targeted several sites, including a biological weapons research center, which hadn’t previously been mentioned in the media,
The center was “flattened out of concern that it might fall into the hands of Islamist extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad,” the report said, quoting Western intelligence officials.
Regarding the strike at Jamarya, the magazine added new details: “Among the buildings leveled at the military complex at Jamarya, outside Damascus, were warehouses stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons, relatively complicated systems typically manned by specially trained forces,” it said.
The biological warfare labs were considered to be of particular concern — in part because of the grave damage small amounts of biological agents can cause, and also due to the stated interest in such weapons by terror groups, namely Osama bin Laden’s successor as head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
On Friday, meanwhile, the Lebanese National News Agency claimed that Israeli
Syrian Army Chief of Staff General Ali Abdullah Ayoub told troops on Thursday that the war with Israel is ongoing and will never end, according to state news agency SANA.