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Satellite photos may be Iranian missile factory in Syria

A report released by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat says a military installation near Safita, in northwestern Syria, is likely to be a factory for guided surface-to-surface missiles.

“The construction patterns, the compound location and the activity signs at the compound and its region, increase the probability that this is a missile manufacturing site,” ImageSat said.

The report said: “The compound contains three main hangars which are reminiscent of large industrial buildings. If this site is indeed related to SSM (surface to surface missiles) manufacturing, it is possible that two hangars include production lines, and the third is for manufacture or assembly.”

ImageSat said that vehicle activity at the site, particularly the use of buses and vans by workers, followed the pattern seen in a nearby area where surface to surface missile launcher vehicles are present.

The facility is located in an area controlled by the Syrian regime with Russian anti-aircraft batteries nearby. ImageSat said the images of the compound resemble an Iranian factory used for producing surface-to-surface missiles in Khojir, Iran, highlighting concerns that the Islamic Republic is deepening its military presence in Syria. ImageSat did say it was not possible to establish with certainty that the facility was an Iranian site.

ImageSat said the compound is active but still in the development stage. It added: “There is probably no manufacturing [or] assembly of missile engines and warheads in this complex, since protected structures weren’t detected. Also, no missiles or launchers were identified within the compound.”

In August 2018 ImageSat released a report that revealed a surface-to-surface missile factory located in Wadi Jahannam, Syria, which included some structures very similar to the surface-to-surface missile factory in Parchin, Iran.

In February BICOM published a new report, titled “Hezbollah’s Precision Missile Project,” which analyses Iran’s attempt to convert Hezbollah’s existing missiles into precision-guided missiles.