Syria accuses Israel of bombing airport near Damascus, threatens to retaliate

by WorldTribune Staff, January 13, 2017

Syria on Jan. 13 accused Israel of bombing a major military airport southwest of Damascus and warned it would retaliate for what it said was a “flagrant” attack.

Syrian state television quoted the army as saying several rockets were fired from an area near Lake Kinneret in northern Israel just after midnight which landed in the compound of the Mezzeh airport, a major facility for elite Republican Guards.

Syria claims Israel bombed the Mezzeh military airport near Damascus on Jan. 13. /YouTube

“Syrian army command and armed forces warn Israel of the repercussions of the flagrant attack and stresses its continued fight against (this) terrorism and amputate the arms of the perpetrators,” the army command said in a statement.

The statement did not disclose if there were any casualties. The Iranian news network Alalam, citing Syrian military sources, said several were killed and wounded.

Video footage downloaded on social media showed large volleys of fire engulfing several areas in the military airport’s compound with a huge plume of smoke from the airport area seen from a distance in several neighborhoods of Damascus.

The airport, located some five kilometers from President Bashar Assad’s palace, had been a base used by Syrian forces to fire rockets at former rebel-held areas in the suburbs of Damascus.

Israel in the past has targeted Hizbullah weapons convoys and warehouses inside Syria where the Iranian-backed group is heavily involved in fighting alongside the Syrian army.

Rebels operating in the area have said Hizbullah’s major arms supply route into Damascus from the Lebanese border has been targeted on several occasions in recent years by airstrikes.