Iran has established a new, permanent military base eight miles northwest of Damascus, with hangers that are thought to store missiles, Fox News reported Tuesday night, citing Western intelligence sources.
Fox News obtained satellite images from ImageSat International showing the new Iranian base, which is operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The images show two hangars, 30 by 20 yards each, believed to store both short range and medium range missiles.
Appearing before a House Armed Services Committee, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, head of US Central Command, was asked by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo), about reports that Iran is moving more missiles into Syria, and confirmed that since the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has been increasing both the number and quality of the ballistic missiles, as well as fighters and arms, it was deploying across the Middle East – most notable in Syria and Yemen.
However, Votel insisted that “countering Iran is not one of the coalition’s missions in Syria,” and that the focus of the mission remains the war against ISIS.
There are about 2,000 US troops on the ground in Syria.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday morning told Israel Radio that “there is nothing new under the sun, and there is no need to treat any information in the media as absolute.”
“We are not going to deteriorate the situation nor give up any Israeli interest,” Liberman continued. “We will not agree to Iranian consolidation in Syria, and certainly not to the deployment of missiles to be directed against Israel. We listen and follow the events. We will also act in international circles in order to achieve everything we can.”
Last December, Israel used surface-to-surface missiles to destroy a similar base near Damascus.