An assessment by the Israeli high-resolution satellite imaging company ImageSat International (ISI) has found that that an alleged Israeli airstrike on a Syrian airbase had taken out a sophisticated weapons system which had allegedly been transported from Iran earlier this month.
According to ISI, “an element or a few” elements rather than the whole infrastructure have been destroyed as a result of the strike.
“Since the attack targeted specific components, reasonably portable, it is assessed that they were of high importance,” ISI was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying.
ISI suggested that “an advanced weapon system element, probably related to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and possibly including a transportable ground control structure” could have been destroyed in the strike.
The developments come after the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) cited an unnamed source as saying Sunday that the country’s air defence systems had “responded to an Israeli aggression on the T-4 airport in Homs' eastern countryside, destroying two of the missiles that targeted the airport.”
The source added that at least one Syrian Army serviceman has been killed and two others injured as a result of the airstrike, which destroyed or damaged other nearby buildings and equipment
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, pledged to “respond forcefully to any aggression” against the Jewish state, adding that “two missiles were fired toward Israel from Syrian territory” on Sunday.
“One struck inside Syria and the other hit our territory on the Golan Heights. I held security consultations following the attack, and I ordered the IDF to take strong action, which it did, striking several targets,” he said.
The remarks followed his address on Israeli TV channels in late March, when he reaffirmed his country's determination to fight the alleged entrenchment of Iranian forces in Syria, noting that the Jewish state enjoys having “no limitation to freedom of action” in the Arab Republic.
Damascus and Tehran, in turn, condemned the strikes, and urged the international community to take steps to prevent further Israeli attacks. Iran denies having a military presence in Syria apart from advisers delivered at the request of Damascus to help it combat terrorist groups.
Tehran denies the Jewish state's right to exist and has repeatedly pledged to destroy it.