Assessment – On September 13, Project 99 (Precision Ballistic Missiles) of the CERS Center was Attacked

By: Tal Beeri and Boaz Shapira

Two significant airstrikes were carried out in northwestern Syria on Wednesday (September 13), during the afternoon and night. The initial and preliminary strike appears to have been launched south of Tartus against the Syrian air defense system equipped with modern radar. The second and most significant attack was launched apparently against Project 99 at the CERS Center south of Hama.

See the special report on the CERS Center was published by us in August 2023

The main attack, which was the second attack, occurred at 22:40. We believe it was directed at the CERS Center, which houses Project 99, which manufactures precision ballistic missiles. As far as we know, Iranian, North Korean, and, of course, Hezbollah scientists participate in this project.

Project 99 is administered by the 4000 Institute (“Sector 4”) of CERS. The project site is situated near Tal Qartal, approximately 35 kilometers north of Homs and 18 kilometers south of Hama. The attack zone is located south of the base of the 47th Brigade of the Syrian Army, which is located near Jabal Ma’arin.

Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim (originally from Rif Damascus) was the founder and first director of Project 99. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and is known as the progenitor of Syrian ballistic missiles. He later served as the CERS Center’s director of planning until his elimination in 2015. Nidal al-Atassi is one of the project’s prominent figures (though, as of this writing, it is unknown whether he is still in his position).

The initial preliminary airstrike occurred at approximately 17:20, south of the city of Tartus, in the vicinity of Route M1, which connects Homs in the east to the Syrian coast in the west. According to our understanding, this airstrike targeted two elements of the Syrian air defense system. The first was in Deir al-Hajar, and the second was in al-Karima. According to Syrian media reports, in the airstrike, two air defense officers were killed.

According to local reports and consistent with our assessment, the early attack was intended to destroy advanced air defense systems. In March 2023, we published an article about the Iranian “Matla Al-Fajar” (“Morning Rising”) Series 3 radar system, a sophisticated radar with a claimed detection range of hundreds of kilometers, as described by the Iranians. A similar radar array was attacked in December 2022 at Al-Dabaa Airport, 10 kilometers north of Qusayr (see image below), and a similar system was likely destroyed in an attack attributed to Israel in the vicinity of Aleppo Airport in March 2023.

There is a high probability that additional systems of this type have been deployed at multiple other locations in Syria. It is conceivable that these or similar systems were attacked in the initial phase of the current offensive, which began south of Tartus on September 13.

The first preliminary attack conducted south of Tartus was carried out in broad daylight, which is relatively uncommon. The fact that it was conducted in this particular manner and that a preliminary attack was carried out at all attests to the significance of the second attack launched south of the city of Hama.

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Alma Research

Alma Research

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