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Israeli spy satellite finds cache of advanced Russian missiles in Syria: report

A file picture taken on April 20, 2010, shows a Russian Iskander ballistic missile launcher during a rehearsal of a military parade in Alabino outside Moscow
Alexander Nemenov (AFP/File)
The weapons seen in the image were operated by the Russian military

An Israeli spy satellite discovered a cache of Russian-made short-range ballistic missiles in Syria, according to a report by Israel's Channel 2 on Friday.

While the report claimed to corroborate western intelligence agencies' suspicions that Russia provided the Syrian regime with some of the most advanced missiles in its arsenal, the Times of Israel claimed that the weaponry was operated by Russian forces stationed in Syria and has never been handed over to the military of President Bashar al-Assad. 

High definition photographs taken by Israel's Eros B satellite clearly show a stockpile of "Iskander" missiles on trucks inside an army base in Latakia in western Syria.

According to the Jerusalem Post, strong rainstorms forced Russia to transfer the missiles from secret locations, thus allowing them to be captured by the satellite.

The Iskander missile is a medium-range ballistic weapon with a range of up to 500 kilometers. It is capable of nuclear armament and is more advanced and accurate than the older "scud" missile model.

The nearly six-year conflict in Syria has killed more than 310,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.

Moscow's intervention in the conflict in September 2015 helped turn the tide in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces scored a major victory last month with the recapture of opposition stronghold east Aleppo.

(Staff with agencies)


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