Israel’s New Spy Satellite Snaps Detailed Images of Ancient Syrian City of Palmyra

The satellite, built by israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was launched in early July, joining at least two others which the Israeli military already has in orbit.

IAI and the Israeli Defence Ministry have unveiled the first images taken by Israel’s new Ofek-16 satellite, with the snaps showing Palmyra, Syria, the UNESCO World Heritage Site which came to international prominence in 2015 during its partial destruction by Daesh (ISIS)* terrorists.

The highly-detailed black-and-white photographs show Palmyra’s ancient Roman amphitheater, and the remnants of the Temple of Bel, the holy site consecrated to the ancient Mesopotamian god Bel.

In a statement praising the Israeli defence industry’s capabilities, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the Ofek-16 was one of the tools enabling Tel Aviv to take action against its “enemies.”

The Ofek-16 is not yet fully operational, and IAI says it will be handed over to the military’s secretive Unit 9900 geo and special intelligence force in the near future for “in-orbit testing.”

The advanced satellite is said to carry a specially-created high-resolution electro-optical space camera by Elbit Systems, an Israeli defence electronics contractor. The camera is said to have the ability to photograph 15 square km of territory at a resolution of 50 centimeters with a single shot from an altitude of 600 km. The Defence Ministry says “hundreds of millions of shekels” have been invested in the project.

Ofek-16 was launched…

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