CHEMICAL WEAPONS TARGET
Syrian anger as Israel hits strategic site
Damascus — Syria’s army accused Israeli warplanes of hitting one of its positions on Thursday, killing two people in an attack that a monitor said targeted a site where the regime allegedly produces chemical weapons.
The site near the Syrian town of Masyaf, between the central city of Hama and a port used by the Russian navy, is reportedly used by forces from Syria’s allies Iran and the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah.
Israel has previously carried out strikes believed to be targeting the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah, which fought a deadly war with Israel in 2006.
Thursday’s strike hit a training camp and a branch of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), an institution that Washington and former Israeli officials accuse of helping develop the sarin gas used in a deadly attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun in April, when at least 87 people were killed.
President Bashar al-Assad’s government has blasted such accusations as "fabrications", and Syria’s army did not mention the SSRC on Thursday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the strikes hit the SSRC. It said Hezbollah fighters and Iranian military personnel were known to use the site at Masyaf.