Israeli air force planes have conducted air strikes at Syrian targets in Damascus, firing missiles at military complexes including one that houses and produces chemical weapons. However, Syrian state-run media reports that military officials said that Syrian air defense systems blocked most of the missiles fired.
.A monitor said ammunition depots in Jamraya were hit. It is the location of a scientific facility where the West suspects chemical weapons are produced.
Israel, which has acknowledged carrying out at least 100 clandestine strikes in Syria since 2011, declined to comment.
Many of the Israeli strikes are believed to been aimed at preventing transfers of advanced weapons to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.
The Syrian military statement said Israeli warplanes had fired several missiles from inside Lebanese airspace at a military position in the Damascus countryside at 03:42 (01:42 GMT) on Wednesday.
“The general command of the armed forces holds Israel fully responsible for the dangerous consequences of its repeated, aggressive and uncalculated adventures,” it added.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said some of the missiles struck ammunition depots in Jamraya.
The area – also known as Dummar – is home to several military facilities but also a branch of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC).
A Western intelligence agency told the BBC last year that three branches of the SSRC, including the one at Jamraya, were being used to produce chemical munitions in violation of a deal that saw Mr Assad agree to destroy his chemical arsenal after a deadly Sarin attack in Damascus in 2013.
The SSRC is promoted by the Syrian government as a civilian research institute but the US accuses the agency of focusing on the development of non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them.
Wednesday’s missile strike came after medics and Western powers accused Syrian government forces of dropping bombs filled with chlorine on rebel-held areas six times over the past month.
Syrian regime officials deny that they are producing or using chemical weapons, calling the accusations “lies”, but UN war crimes investigators are looking into the allegations.
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