Damage from an alleged IAF air strike on a chemical weapons research center located in Jamarya, a Damascus suburb, was apparently broadcast on Syrian state television Saturday.
The station showed images of the aftermath of last Wednesday’s attack on the Jamraya Scientific Research Center, located northwest of the Syrian capital. “The center was flattened out of concern it might fall into the hands of Islamist extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad,” reported TIME Magazine on Friday.
The military research center was targeted while a convoy of vehicles carrying Russian-made missiles was struck while winding its way towards Hizbullah bases near the Lebanese border.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, U.S. officials told reporters that the convoy was struck because it was transporting Russian-made SA-17 missiles, and Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) short-to-medium range surface-to-air missiles to the Lebanese border from a military complex suspected of housing chemical agents. This was not the first such report: similar news made headlines in The Washington Post in December 2012. It is not clear where that convoy ended up, nor to whom its cargo was delivered. It is, however, known that the Iranian-backed Hizbullah terrorist organization maintains bases along both sides of the Syria-Lebanon border.
Also in December, a Syrian defector reported technicians at a chemical weapons facility had started mixing chemical agents together to form the lethal nerve gas sarin, as well as other weaponry. He also revealed the technicians were beginning to load the chemical agents into missile warheads.
Jamraya is located in the Qasioun mountains overlooking Damascus, just eight miles (13 kilometers) from Lebanon, surrounded by army bases and protected by artillery.
The IAF warplanes allegedly struck the site from the direction of Lebanon after crossing into Syrian airspace from the west.