The IDF hit three secret Syrian military chemical laboratories and facilities near Homs and Damascus on June 8th of this year, according to a report in the Washington Post. Seven Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack.
The report says intelligence officials claim Israel believed Syria was attempting to restart its production of deadly nerve agents. The strike was considered unusual at the time, as Israel normally restricted its attacks to Iranian positions within Syria, and not Syrian military sites.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own citizens at the beginning of the Syrian civil war, though the arsenal was originally intended to be used against Israel.
According to the report, the first Israeli attack against Syria’s chemical weapons ambitions was on March 2020, in an attack near Homs, which is Syria’s third-largest city.
The attacks were apparently preemptive, to destroy Syria’s ability to produce chemical weapons before they were made. Hitting the nerve and chemical weapons after they were produced would have released the more dangerous substances into the air and nearby populations.
Presidents Trump and Biden learned of the attacks and the intended targets after the attacks were over.