Israeli sources said that the IDF’s intelligence unit, Unit 8200 – which, among other intelligence operations, routinely eavesdrops on communications among military and political leaders in Syria — has recordings of senior Syrian political and military officials discussing the timing and scope of the chemical attack last Wednesday against civilians in rebel-held areas. Israeli intelligence sources have also identified the Syrian military unit which fired the chemical weapons: the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, a division under the command of the Syrian president’s brother, Maher Assad.
It should come as no surprise that Unit 8200, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) sigint unit, routinely eavesdrops on communications among military and political leaders in Syria. The German magazine Focus on Sunday reported that Unit 8200 operatives listened in on senior Syrian officials discussing the chemical attack that took place on the outskirts of Damascus last Wednesday, killing and injuring hundreds.
Focus reports that the high-ranking Syrian regime officials discussed the attack shortly before and during the attack. The report cited an ex-Mossad official who asked to remain anonymous, who said that the intercepted conversation proved that Bashar Assad’s regime was responsible for the use of non-conventional weapons.
Ehud Ya’ari, a respected Israeli TV Middle East analyst with ties to informed sources, said on Saturday that the chemically tipped missiles were fired by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, a division under the command of the Syrian president’s brother, Maher Assad.
The 155th Brigade’s base is located on the Kalamoon Mountain northwest of Damascus.
Israeli TV’s military analysts said the nerve gas shells were fired from a military base in a mountain range to the west of Damascus.
U.S. sources suggested on Monday that the headquarters of the 155th Brigade would likely be one of the targets of the coming series of U.S. cruise missile strikes against regime targets.