The new Iranian soumar missile was unveiled in March. (Youtube) (Youtube)
Iranian soumar missile

Iran is stepping up its hostility toward Israel, while Israel is upgrading its defenses against such threats.  

Iran is reportedly building a facility in northwestern Syria to manufacture long-range Scud missiles, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Tuesday.

According to the report, security experts who analyzed photos of the site say the construction indicates that explosives would be stored there. The analysts also compared the facility in Syria to a rocket factory near Tehran, concluding there was a strong resemblance between the sites, indicating Iran’s involvement.

“The facility has one entrance, an administrative section, a production area and a storage wing, while some of the buildings appear to be for manufacturing ammunition. Large dirt mounds to protect the facility are also visible in the images,” the report said.

Last Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was closely monitoring the situation in Syria and would act against any threats.

“Our policy is clear: We vehemently oppose the military buildup by Iran and its proxies, primarily Hezbollah, in Syria and we will do whatever it takes to protect Israel’s security,” he said.

Scud tactical ballistic missiles were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and were often the missile of choice for Iraq, which launched dozens of these missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War.

Israel Successfully Tests Air Defense

In related news, Israel successfully tested an upgrade of its air defense system.

The Israeli Air Force successfully intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during a test of its Patriot missile air defense system against new threats.

The interception was part of a larger exercise planned in advance for 2017, according to the IDF Spokesperson Unit.

Lt. Col. Raz Nahum, a Patriot battalion commander, said that “during the course of the training exercise, several Patriot missiles were fired at targets designated as threats.”

“There is no doubt that after the drill we conducted we improved the awareness of our personnel and the effectiveness of the system,” the IDF stated.

The Patriot missile defense system was first given to Israel by the US in 1991 to defend against Iraqi Scud missiles during the first Gulf War.

Today, the system is still considered to be the most advanced air defense system amid threats from ballistic missile programs like Iran’s.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff

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