New reports about Iran’s presence in Syria indicate the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is currently looking for another location for its headquarters in the devastated country, another indication the Iranians have no intention to leave Syrian soil.
This happened after a series of Israeli airstrikes which repeatedly destroyed weapon storage facilities and the so-called Glass House, the headquarters of the Quds Force at Damascus International Airport.
The latest Israeli aerial attack on Iranian facilities near the airport in Damascus, which took place on Jan. 29 and followed a failed Iranian attempt to hit an IDF base at Mount Hermon with a missile, was apparently too much for the Quds Force and its commander Qassem Soleimani.
The missile strike by the Israeli air force (IAF) was conducted from Lebanese airspace and destroyed a weapon storage facility near the Glass House and the entrance to the passenger terminal at Damascus International Airport.
Soleimani has his own headquarters in a heavily guarded compound located along the Road of the People’s Palace in Mezzah, a neighborhood in western Damascus.
The same neighborhood also houses Shiite militias from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and the headquarters of Hezbollah in Syria and the Syrian Republican Guards.
Israeli military intelligence and the Israeli intelligence blog Intelli Times now report that the Quds Force is relocating part of its military infrastructure to the so-called T-4 air force base between Homs and Palmyra (biblical Tadmor).
Assad’s brother Maher, who is considered close to Soleimani, is reportedly helping the Iranians and their Shiite proxies with the relocation of the Iranian bases and weapon storehouses and has allowed the construction of new Iranian missile facilities at Syrian army bases in the Damascus area.
One of these bases is home to the Fourth Armored Division of the Syrian army which is commanded by Maher al-Assad.
The Iranians are working nonstop to expand their missile arsenal in Syria and are seeking to produce the Burkan-2H short-range ballistic missile and a new version of the Golan 1000 missile which has a payload of 450 kilograms.
Local Syrian media on Sunday published new satellite images which delivered evidence of the construction of the new Iranian facilities at Syrian army bases and the reconstruction of missile facilities destroyed by Israel.
At the same time, Iran continues to expand its arsenal of mid-range and long-distance (nuclear-capable) ballistic missiles.
The past few weeks Iran unveiled or tested two new guided missiles which could be used in a future war against Israel.
On Saturday, the IRGC unveiled the Dezful surface-to-surface missile which has a reach of 700 kilometers after successfully testing its new Hoveizeh cruise missile with a range of 1,330 kilometers.
IRGC commander Mohammed Ali Jafari unveiled the missile at a thus far secret underground ballistic missile facility dubbed “the underground city” according to Fars News in Iran.
“Displaying this missile production facility deep underground is an answer to Westerners … who think they can stop us from reaching our goals through sanctions and threats,” Jafari reportedly said.