Report says Syria aims rockets at Israel

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 19 (UPI) -- Satellite footage reveals Syria has surface-to-surface Tishreen missiles aimed at Tel Aviv, The Sunday Times reported.

Reconnaissance satellites showed the Syrian army preparing to deploy missiles that carry a half-ton payload, the British newspaper said Sunday.


The missiles have been put on standby and the military has orders to fire if Israel wages an attack on Syrian soil, the newspaper said.

Israeli missile expert Uzi Rubin told the newspaper Syria has a lot of Tishreen missiles at its disposal. He said the missiles are "extremely accurate" and could cause serious harm.

"Even if they don't hit Ben-Gurion (Airport) directly, they would halt all commercial flights out of the country," he said.

Foreign media outlets have previously reported Israel waged two alleged air strikes in Syria. The BBC, CNN and other media reported earlier this month that Israel bombed a convoy of Iranian-made rockets heading for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Earlier this year, Israel allegedly bombed a suspected Syria chemical weapons facility. Israel has refrained from commenting on the reports.

In an interview published Saturday in the Argentinean newspaper Clarin, Syrian President Bashar Assad accused Israel of supporting terrorist groups operating in his country.


"Israel is directly supporting the terrorist groups in two ways, first it gives them logistical support and it also tells them what sites to attack and how to attack them. For example, they attacked a radar station that is part of our anti-aircraft defenses, which can detect any plane coming from overseas, especially from Israel," Assad said.

Assad disputed claims that more than 70,000 people have been killed since the unrest began.

"I would have to ask those who raise these figures the credibility of their sources. All death is horrible," he said. Assad said it was difficult to determine the exact number of fatalities as it was difficult to ascertain how many of the dead are Syrians or foreigners who entered the country to fight.

"We cannot give a precise figure," Assad said.

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