Israel attacks Syrian Masyaf despite Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems

Early morning on Saturday, April 13, the Israeli air force flew low over the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. According to the Lebanese news agency NNA, the flight was accompanied by a strong roar and frightened the sleeping population of the city. This happened after, according to the Syrian agency SANA, Israeli aircraft fired rockets at a military base near the city of Masyaf in the province of Hama. While hitting the targets in Syria, the Israeli military aircraft had been in Lebanese airspace.

According to foreign monitoring organizations, one of the targets was a factory “producing high-precision rockets in the village of al-Zaui”, as well as in the village of Sheikh Radwan, which “stationed the Iranian and Syrian military”. Allegedly, two soldiers were killed and 17 were injured as a result of the attack.

The center for the development and production of missiles in the Syrian Masyaf area has been attacked at least five times since 2017.

A military observer for the Ynet news portal, Ron Ben-Yishai, pointed out that the Masyaf area stations Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, one of the first anti-aircraft systems transferred to the Syrian army after the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down. According to an Israeli military expert, Iranians (presumably members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC) could have resumed missile production, hoping that the presence of S-300 air defense systems in the area would deter Israeli attack.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported citing its own sources, that as a result of the early morning air strike in the Syrian province of Hama on April 13, several buildings were destroyed and three soldiers were injured.  According to SANA, "The Israeli air force launched an attack from Lebanese airspace on a military target near the city of Masyaf.” Several missiles were shot down by Syrian air defense systems.

  Syria, Israel, Iran

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