Syria Says Israel Attacked Military Airport, Warns Of 'Repercussions'

Jan 13, 2017

The Syrian government says Israel has attacked a military airport west of Damascus, and warns of "repercussions" without promising any specific retaliation.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reports that rockets fired by the Israeli air force caused a fire at the al-Mezzeh airport just after midnight local time on Friday morning. The report did not identify if there were any casualties.

Syria also accuses Israel of attacking the same airport with ground-to-ground missiles on Dec. 7, also causing a fire to break out, with no casualties.

Syria accused Israel of supporting "terrorist organizations" through the strike.

Israel has not responded to the claims.

Over the last few years, Israel has repeatedly been charged with bombing military facilities in Syria, including sites that reportedly contained Iranian-made and Russian-made missiles..

It's "standard Israeli practice to not comment when such attacks happen," NPR's Emily Harris noted after one such reported strike in 2013.

The strikes were reportedly prompted by concerns that heavy weapons are being transferred from Syria to Hezbollah — the Lebanon-based militant Islamist group on Israel's northern border.

Hezbollah, a Shiite group, has supported President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's complex, multi-factional civil war.

The Associated Press has more on the reported attack:

"Residents of Damascus reported hearing several explosions that shook the city. The Mezzeh airport compound, located on the southwestern edge of the capital, had been used to launch attacks on rebel-held areas near Damascus and has come previously under rebel fire. ...

"Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently reiterated his government's position to not get involved in the Syrian war."

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