The Israeli intelligence satellite firm, ImageSat International (SIS) revealed new images Wednesday detailing what appears to be a new missile factory under construction in Syria in the town of Safita, east of Tartus on the Mediterranean coast.
(2/3) #Breaking: Missile launcher activity near #Safita, #Syria? On a dirt area 500 meters west of the compound, #ISI has detected massive and extensive trails. Here's the full #intelligence report: https://t.co/9xX71gGAeL#Iran #SSM #Missile #Space pic.twitter.com/TRhpqUybXI
— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) March 13, 2019
The highly-detailed images show a newly-built water tower, three hangers, and buses and vans in a site securely surrounded by a fence, with workers entering and exiting in patterns consistent with military installations, ISI reported. The firm added the compound is similar to a factory used for producing surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) in the Iranian city of Khojir.
“The construction patterns, the compound location and the activity signs at the compound and its region increase the probability that this is a missile manufacturing site,” said ISI.
“If this site is indeed related to SSM manufacturing it is possible that the two hangers include production line and the third is for manufacture or assembly.” No protected structures or missile launchers were detected within the compound, however, leading ISI to say they probably did not exist within the compound.
However, about 500 meters from the site, satellite imagery showed marks “probably created by the activity of heavy vehicles such as SSM launchers,” noted ISI. “In our assessment the tire prints are not related to the activity of quarries operating in the area.”
The site is located some eight kilometers from the Lebanese border, close to an area where a battery of Russian SAM (surface-to-air missiles) are deployed.