JERUSALEM, Israel - Iran is building a new military base in Syria that will house thousands of troops and deadly precision-guided missiles, Fox News reported Tuesday.
Citing western sources and satellite images, Fox reports that the classified project called the "Imam Ali compound" was approved by the highest levels of government in Tehran.
Analysts at Image Sat International (ISI) say that five newly constructed buildings would house precision-guided missiles. In the northwest area of the compound are 10 additional storehouses.
ISIS analysts say Iran will complete construction in a matter of months and the base will be operational shortly after.
Iran regularly uses its proxies in Iraq and Syria to plan attack missions against Israel and its other enemies in the region, but security experts say this new compound is different. It is the first time Iran is building a base this large from scratch in Syria, and it is less than 200 miles from an American army position.
Just hours before Fox reported on Iran's new compound in Syria, the Israel Defense Forces released satellite images exposing an Iranian-backed Hezbollah precision missile factory near the town of Nabi Chit in Lebanon's Bekaa valley.
The military said in a statement that Iran and Hezbollah established the factory years ago and is divided into four sections: motor production, quality assurance, manufacturing of explosives for warheads, and logistics.
The factory is purported to hold several machines designed to manufacture the motors and warheads of missiles with an accuracy of fewer than 10 meters.
"This facility is of superior importance to the Hezbollah precision missile project, which is why Hezbollah, in fear of strikes, evacuated precious and unique equipment from the compound to civilian locations in Beirut," the army said, appearing to hint at an Israeli drone strike that reportedly damaged at least one of the machines.
Haaretz reported that Israeli drones hit a central component of Hezbollah's missile program by damaging an industrial-sized machine needed to create propellants that can improve missiles' engines and accuracy.
Had the machine been operational, it would have allowed Hezbollah to create a substantial quantity of precision-guided long-range missiles.
The Times of Israel reports that Hezbollah likely has more than 150,000 missiles, but few are precision-guided.
A senior Israeli official told reporters on Monday that he ordered the military to focus on stopping Iran and Hezbollah's precision-guided missiles project.
"We changed the order of our threats based on the understanding that we cannot afford [allowing] precision-guided missiles in Lebanon," the official said.
Iran is trying to turn its proxy Hezbollah into the first terror group in the world with precision guided missiles.
We won't let them. pic.twitter.com/0DIS7hkawd
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 3, 2019