Iran has built new missile solos on the border with Israel, according to Israeli satellite intelligence. If the evidence of the satellite images is borne out tensions in the region will be further ratcheted-up and a pre-emptive Israeli missile strike is likely, Daily Express reports.
In December, Israeli jets destroyed a suspected Iranian missile base in the Syrian city of al-Qiswah – and the new silos are just a few miles away, slightly closer to Damascus, but otherwise identical. Iran has a huge armory of ballistic missiles which includes the Shahab-1 – a variant of the controversial Hwasong-5 used by North Korea. A Shahab-1 could land a 1000kg warhead on Tel Aviv in seconds.
The base snapped from space by Israeli Defence Israeli firm ImageSat, is reportedly being run by the Quds Force, an expeditionary arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who have fronted Iran’s involvement in war-torn Syria.
Repeated warnings have been issued by Western diplomats and the UN who fear the clashes over missile positioning could erupt into a full-blown conflict, which could see Israel and Iran played off against one another and their allies in Lebanon and Syria.
Despite this far steering clear of the conflict, Israel has laid down several “red lines” to reduce Iran and proxy group Hizbollah’s presence in Syria, one being to stop Iran from using its alliance with the Assad regime to establish permanent bases there.
“Iran continues to try to cross these red lines. Israel will not allow the Iranian regime to put a noose of terror around our neck,” Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Satellite images taken of the of al-Qiswah facility before it was destroyed show a white 100ft by the 65ft hangar. The hangars spotted at the new base in Jabal ash Shaqi are identical.
“We are listening and following the events. We will also act in the international arena to achieve anything possible,” Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, remaining even-handed.
Iranian training facilities and drone bases are littered across Syria according to maps printed by U.S. think tank the Institute of the Study of War. But while attacks on some facilities have been carried out by Israel, it has failed to stop the erection of others as well as efforts to convince the Kremlin to halt Iran’s participation in Syria.