Iran is building a permanent military base in Syria, the BBC reported Friday, citing a Western intelligence official. The base is reported to have been built by the Iranian military at a site used by the Syrian regime’s army outside Al Kiswah, 14 km (8 miles) south of Damascus, and 50 km (31 miles) from the Golan Heights
A series of satellite images commissioned by the BBC show widespread construction taking place at the site between January and October this year. According to the British broadcaster, the images show "a series of two dozen large low-rise buildings, likely for housing soldiers and vehicles," as well as several other buildings still under construction.
The report also stressed that "it is impossible to independently verify the purpose of the site and the presence of the Iranian military."
The construction is a particular cause of concern for Israel, as the site lies just 50 km from the Syria-Israel border. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted on Twitter by stating "Iran wants to establish itself militarily in Syria, right next to Israel. Israel will not let that happen."