Syria says Israeli airstrikes targeted military facility


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Syria said Israeli airstrikes targeted a military facility in the west of the country, killing two soldiers.

Syria’s military confirmed in a statement that Israeli warplanes struck the site near the town of Masyaf after 2 a.m. on Thursday from Lebanese airspace. The statement warned Israel of “serious consequences” over the attack.

The statement identified the destroyed site as the Scientific Studies and Research Center, which is responsible for research and development of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile technology and weapons. The site also is believed to house a chemical weapons factory.

The Syrian military also accused Israel of supporting the Islamic state. The airstrike is an “attempt to raise ISIS’s morale, which is collapsing after the crushing victory achieved by the Syrian army against terror,” the statement also said.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the airstrike and generally does not comment on foreign news reports.

Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes in Syria in the more than six years of the country’s civil war, generally against arms convoys bringing weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon which Israel fears will be used against it.

The attack came as Israel’s military is holding a large-scale drill in the north of the country, simulating a future war with Lebanon.

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