Israeli concerns about the entrenchment of Iran and its proxies in Syria were strengthened on Thursday as satellite photos were published which appear to show that Iran is building a military base just 31 miles from Israel’s northern border.
The ImageSat International pictures, seen on Hadashot news, indicate ongoing construction work at al-Kiswah, about 8 miles south of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The photos seemed consistent with a BBC report a week ago saying that Iran was building a permanent military base in the area. The BBC cited a Western intelligence official for its assessment that a series of satellite pictures it commissioned confirmed that Iran is building such an installation there.
The BBC hedged, however, saying that “it is impossible to independently verify the purpose of the site and the presence of the Iranian military.
“The images of the base do not reveal any signs of large or unconventional weaponry, which means if it was a base it would most likely be to house soldiers and vehicles,” the British news agency said.
ImageSat International also stressed that it had no direct evidence of an Iranian presence.