Defense minister says Israel will do what it takes to prevent 'Shiite corridor'
Jack Guez (AFP/File)
Israel's defense minister said that "everything will be done" to prevent Iran creating a Shiite corridor stretching from Tehran to Beirut, in the aftermath of a reported Israeli strike on a government military facility in Syria.
“We are not looking for any military adventure in Syria but we are determined to prevent our enemies from harming, or even creating the opportunity to harm the security of Israeli citizens,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman reportedly told Israel 100 FM radio station.
"Therefore, everything will be done to prevent the existence of a Shi'ite corridor from Tehran to Damascus," he said.
Syrian state media announced on Thursday morning that two soldiers were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, the body responsible for the development of chemical weapons, near the city of Masyaf in Hama Governorate.
Syrian state media said that at 2:42am local time, Israeli jets launched rockets towards the facility while remaining in Lebanese airspace.
The Israeli military would neither confirm nor deny the reports.
Reports on social media from Syria suggested that the planes carried out multiple hits on the target.
The General Command of the Syrian army warned of the "serious repercussions of such acts of aggression on the security and stability of the region," and said it was renewing "its determination and determination to crush terrorism and uproot it from all the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic."
The statement also claimed that Israel was directly connected to the Islamic State militant group.
Israel's Ynet news site reports that the site allegedly attacked was a potential location for a future Iranian facility for the production of precision rockets for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah organization, suggesting that the target could have been a joint Syrian-Iranian operation.
Israel recently stated that it would not tolerate the establishment of factories in Lebanon able to produce such advanced weaponry for Hezbollah.
In April the United States blacklisted 271 employees of the CERS, saying that the agency was responsible for the development of chemical weapons.
On Wednesday, United Nations war crimes investigators said that they had evidence that Syrian regime forces were responsible for a chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhun in April which killed at least 83 people, a third of them children, and injured hundreds more.
1.The strike reported last night is not routine— Amos Yadlin (@YadlinAmos) September 7, 2017
The international body also said that the Syrian government was responsible for at least 23 other chemical attacks in the country since March 2013.
In April, Israel reportedly hit an air field close to Damascus which was thought to be an Hezbollah arms hub often used as a transit point from Tehran. Although Israel did not officially take responsibility for the explosion, Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz seemed to hint that this could be the case, telling Army Radio that the strike was consistent with Israeli policy regarding the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.
In April 2016, Israel admitted for the first time that it had attacked dozens of convoys transporting weapons in Syria destined for Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is now fighting alongside the Damascus regime.
Wednesday marked the tenth anniversary of an alleged Israeli attack on Syria's al-Kibar nuclear facility that demolished the country’s nuclear reactor.
Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the border had remained largely quiet for decades until 2011 when the Syrian conflict began.
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where is the US and EU reaction to this UN report? why aren't there cruise missiles bombing multiple Syrian and hezbolah facilities?