15:03 GMT18 January 2021
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    The Syrian Defense Ministry has blamed the early Friday airstrike on the Israeli military, while the latter has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

    Satellite images showing the aftermath of an early Friday airstrike in Syria's Masyaf have been posted on social media.

    According to the "before and after" pictures shared by a private Israeli intelligence firm, at least four buildings were destroyed in Masyaf in the early hours of Friday.

    The facilities were allegedly involved in developing weapons, and were part of a factory complex manufacturing "missile engines, rockets, and warheads", the report claimed.

    The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have refused to comment on the attack.

    ​Syrian state media, which first reported the attack, said that the country's air defenses responded to "Israeli aggression" in Masyaf, Hama province. The report was later confirmed by the Syrian military, who added that its air defenses repelled most of the incoming targets. Social media reports also indicated the presence of suspicious aircraft over the sky of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, suggesting it was Israeli jets.

    Masyaf in Hama province is of significant military importance for the Syrian government, given that a military academy and a scientific research centre are located there.

    Syria has witnessed numerous air attacks this year, for most of which no group or state had previously claimed responsibility. However, on 11 December, IDF claimed it had conducted numerous operations on Syrian territory targeting alleged Iran's "entrenchment" in the country.

    Iran has repeatedly stated that its presence in Syria is limited to military advisors.

    Tags:
    Israel, IDF, Hama, aftermath, Syria
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