JERUSALEM Feb 6 A research centre that Syria
said was hit by an Israeli strike last week remained unscathed
in the attack, an Israeli television channel said satellite
images it broadcast on Wednesday showed.
Diplomats, Syrian rebels and security sources said Israeli
jets bombed a convoy near the Lebanese border last week,
apparently hitting weapons destined for the Lebanese militant
group Hezbollah, which fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006.
Syria denied the assertions, saying the target was the
Jamraya military research complex on the northwestern fringes of
Damascus and 8 miles (13 km) from the border.
Some of the diplomats and security sources said the
apparently contradictory accounts might refer to the same
incident, given Jamraya's proximity to the border.
Channel 2 News broadcast satellite images of what it said
was the complex, taken eight months before the attack and a few
days after it.
The latter showed a road and parking lot, both of them
scorched and blackened, next to an apparently unscathed
building, which Channel 2 said was the research centre.
Channel 2 said the images were taken by DigitalGlobe, a
public company based in the United States. A spokesperson for
DigitalGlobe contacted by Reuters could not immediately confirm
the authenticity of the photos.
Syrian television had broadcast footage from the Jamraya
base showing extensive damage to buildings and several heavy
military vehicles which appeared capable of carrying missiles.
At least one vehicle, with light desert khaki markings, was
equipped with what looked like a satellite dish.
Several burnt out cars and lorries, including one with a
large hole smashed through the roof of the driver's cabin, could
also be seen in the footage, as well as the badly damaged
interior of an office.
Israel has maintained official silence last week's raid, but
on Sunday Defence Minister Ehud Barak appeared to acknowledge
that Israel carried out the strike. [ID: nL5N0B32NU].
(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Jon Hemming)