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Albin Szakola

Israel targets Damascus military
airbase: pro-Assad media

Syria accused Tel Aviv of firing surface-to-surface missiles from the Golan toward the Mazzeh airport.

A photo purports to show smoke rising from the Mazzeh military airbase. (Facebook/dimashq.now)

BEIRUT - Israel has reportedly conducted a series of strikes against a well-secured airbase just outside the center of Damascus, according to the Syrian regime.

 

Syria's state news agency on Wednesday cited a "military source" as saying that Israel fired a series of surface-to-surface missiles at the Mazzeh Military Airport, but added that nobody was injured in the latest purported Israeli strike in the war-torn country.

 

SANA added that the Israeli rockets were fired from a position in the Golan, which would mark the most notable use of Israeli surface-to-surface rockets in the conflict, instead of an air raid.

 

However, the Hezbollah affiliated War Media issued a statement earlier in the day saying that "it is almost certain that Zionist rockets targeted the Mazzeh Military Airport from Lebanese airspace."

 

“It is almost certain that Zionist rockets targeted the Mazzeh Military Airport from Lebanese airspace,” the statement said, adding that the Syrian government has yet to make an official announcement on the matter.

 

Explosions rocked the facility for half an hour while ambulances rushed to the scene, according to the statement carried by Al-Mayadeen, a Beirut-based network that staunchly supports the Bashar al-Assad regime.

 

The mysterious incident was covered early in the morning by pro-Assad Facebook news outlets, which published pictures and videos purporting to show the blasts in the airport.

 

Shortly after 3:30 a.m., a Facebook page that provides updates on mortar attacks in the Syrian capital reported that “several powerful blasts were heard in western neighborhoods of Damascus,” specifically the Mazzeh district and surrounding areas.

 

Minutes later, the outlet ran a terse update that the “source of the explosions is the Mazzeh military airport,” adding that flames were seen rising from the highly-secure installation while ambulances were heard at the scene.

 

Meanwhile, Damascus Now also covered the blasts, reporting a little before 4:00 a.m. that a fire was raging in the airbase following a number of explosions, the cause of which remain unknown.

 

The news outlet, which has a Facebook following of over 1 million, published two photos purporting to show smoke rising over the Mazzeh airbase, which is located approximately 5 kilometers southwest of the center of Damascus.

 

Damascus Now

 

Meanwhile, a pro-Assad news page based in the regime’s coastal heartland was one of the first to claim that Israeli raids targeted the Mazzeh facility.

 

“Two Israeli raids targeted the Mazzeh military airport… a number of people have been martyred and injured,” the Al-Bahluliyah News Agency alleged in a post that included footage purporting to show blasts rip through the airport.

 

 

The Facebook news page further claimed that an estimated 12 rockets pummeled the Mazzeh military airbase, and provided another video alleging to show explosions at the facility.

 

 

However, another claim circulated on pro-regime social media outlets held that the explosions were merely the result of an accidental discharge in an arms depot located within the airport.

 

The mysterious blasts at the Mazzeh airbase come a week after Israel reportedly bombed two targets outside the Syrian capital, with Syrian state news reporting that its arch-foe hit the Saboura area west of Damascus.

 

A pro-Hezbollah outlet explained that Israel conducted two separate raids, one on a weapons depot belonging to the crack 4th Armored Division while the other hit a “number of cars near the Damascus-Beirut highway."

 

The outlet cited a source as saying that “no security or political figures” were targeted in the second strike, which appeared to hit an arms convoy.

 

Although Tel Aviv does not publicly acknowledge its strikes in Syria, top Israeli leaders have repeatedly warned that they will not tolerate cross-border shipments of advanced weapons, including missiles, to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

 

NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report.

A photo purports to show smoke rising from the Mazzeh military airbase. (Facebook/dimashq.now)

"Several powerful blasts were heard in western neighborhoods of Damascus,” specifically the Mazzeh district and surrounding areas.