Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Released
Israeli Air Force F-16 (illustrative)

Israeli warplanes allegedly struck a chemical weapons production and storage facility in northwest Syria on Sunday, according to a military source quoted by the official SANA news agency.

The Hezbollah-linked Al Mayadeen television channel based in Lebanon reported that the target was a “research center.” Social media reports claimed the target was a facility of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS), near Masyaf in the Hama province.

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According to the reports, Israeli air force jets fired missiles from Lebanese airspace and attacked a Syrian regime missile warehouse about 50 kilometers from the town of Masyaf, southwest of Hama. Opposition sources said there is an Iranian presence at the site, which was used to develop and produce chemical weapons.

Numerous reports in social media claim a number of personnel from the Hezbollah guerrilla organization and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed and wounded in the strike.

The strike came just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would continue to act against Iran’s military presence and activities in Syria. “We will not stop taking action in Syria against Iran’s attempts to establish a military presence there,” the prime minister said in a statement.

The site is located close to a Syrian SA-5 anti-aircraft defense battery, and a Russian military base, according to social media.

If the attack is confirmed, it would be one that was unusual for having been carried out during daylight hours.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.