Israeli airstrikes in Syria targeted chemical weapons facilities, report says

The Washington Post reports Israeli fighter jets bombed chemical weapons facilities this June and March 2020 as the Assad regime is believed to try to rebuild its chemical weapons capabilities

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Israel attacked two chemical weapons facilities in Syria over the past two years, the Washington Post reported Monday
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  • The facilities were reportedly used by the Bashar al-Assad regime to manufacture chemical weapons, and according to intelligence sources, the attacks were intended to thwart a Syrian attempt to resume the production of nerve gas.
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    דיווח סוריה: ישראל תקפה מכיוון לבנון, הדי פיצוצים באזור דמשק וחומס
    דיווח סוריה: ישראל תקפה מכיוון לבנון, הדי פיצוצים באזור דמשק וחומס
    Footage of the attack in Syria, June 8, 2021
    "There were more signs of them going back into production," said one of the intelligence officials. Following the first attack, which took place in March 2020, Israeli intelligence discovered additional sites producing chemical weapons, and according to two Western officials, Israel believed this was an effort by Syria to rebuild its chemical warfare capabilities.
    The Washington Post report said that the Israeli military refused to respond to the report, but Western intelligence officials immediately noticed that these attacks were unusual in relation to other attacks in Syria attributed to Israel. While previous attacks targeted pro-Iranian militias or Iranian arms shipments, these attacks were directed against targets part of Syria's chemical weapons program.
    The aircraft fighters that took part in the attack were deep within Syrian soil, near the border with Turkey. The latest attack on June 8 included three targets that were bombed in Damascus and Homs area, killing seven Syrian soldiers, including a senior officer, and an engineer who worked at a top-secret Syrian military lab.
    Footage of the attack in Syria, June 8, 2021
    Israel carried out a similar attack one year prior which was also based on intelligence that Assad's regime had obtained chemical substances and other means necessary to rebuild its chemical weapons capabilities, on which it is believed to have given up eight years earlier.
    "It is a strategic weapon for the regime," said a Western intelligence official.
    The report was based on four U.S. and Western intelligence sources that were exposed to sensitive intelligence during the attacks and were interviewed on condition of anonymity.
    On June 8, Syria reported on an alleged Israeli attack coming from Lebanon. According to Syrian media, the explosions were heard in Damascus and in the Homs area, and the announcement was published after the Lebanese media reported that Israeli aircraft were circling in the country's airspace.
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