Syria’s army has accused Israel of conducting an overnight strike on a military airport near the capital Damascus, threatening repercussions.
Syrian army command claimed that the Mezzeh military airport west of Damascus was struck by rockets fired from near Lake Kinneret in northern Israel just after midnight. A statement by Syrian army command also sought to “warn Israel of the repercussions of the flagrant attack and stresses its continued fight against (this) terrorism and amputate the arms of the perpetrators”.
Syria’s official SANA news agency said that “at 3:00 am, the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles from inside occupied territory,” naming the source of fire as Mount Avital on Israel’s Golan Heights.
There were no official reports of casualties. However, an AFP correspondent reported a number of explosions and a large fire, with smoke visible from across Damascus. Mezzeh airport is a major facility for the Syrian army and has been the launching pad for firing rockets at rebel-held parts of Damascus.
There has been no comment on the incident by Israeli officials. Israel has remained firmly on the sidelines of the Syrian Civil War and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently reiterated that Israel has no wish to be involved in the conflict.
However, senior Israeli officials have admitted to periodically carrying out strikes on targets in Syria, in order to prevent the transfer of arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon for potential use against Israel. Syria claims that in early December, Israeli surface-to-air missiles hit the Mezzeh airbase and that Israeli jets fired two missiles towards the outskirts of Damascus in a separate incident.
Israeli leaders have routinely warned against attempts to supply Hezbollah with advanced weaponry amid the chaos of the Syrian Civil War. Hezbollah is a staunch ally of President Assad and routinely fights alongside Syrian government forces, playing an important role in the Syrian army’s recent capture of Aleppo.
(via BICOM )
[Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv / Flickr ]