The Syrian Foreign Ministry submitted a formal complaint against Israel at the UN on Thursday after Israeli missiles allegedly attacked a facility linked to April’s chemical weapon attack in Khan Sheikhun that killed more than 80 people.
In letters to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Syria accused Israel of “unabated aggressions” towards Damascus that have become “systematic behaviour with the aim of protecting Jabhat al-Nusra [the Nusra Front] and ISIS [Islamic State] terrorists”.
Syria further claimed that any attack against its regime forces “provide direct support for terrorism because the Syrian army and its allies are those who fight terrorism on behalf of the entire world”.
Yesterday, media reported that four Israeli planes bombed the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (CERS), a facility that Western intelligence agencies have long associated with research and development of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile technology.
Former Israeli National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror said that the facility “has been one of the Syrian centres for research and development for weapons systems including chemical weapons … and weapons that have been transferred to Hezbollah”. He claimed that the only logical explanation for Thursday’s attack was that the facility was producing weapons systems for Hezbollah.
There was no comment from the Israeli military about the reported attack. Hours after the incident, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told 100FM radio station that Israel does not want to be dragged into the Syrian civil war, but “will do whatever it takes to prevent a Shiite corridor from Iran to Damascus” in order to “ensure the safety of Israeli citizens”.
In May, Lieberman said the IDF only carries out raids in Syria when Israel comes under fire, to prevent arms transfers to Hezbollah, and to avert imminent terror attacks on Israel by non-state groups on its borders.
Yesterday the Syrian army warned in a statement of “serious consequences” after officially accusing Israel of sending fighter jets to carry out a strike on CERS.