Syria blasts at Mezzeh military airport ‘not Israeli strikes’

An explosion seen near the Syrian capital of Damascus, 2 September 2018
Image captionAn explosion in a Damascus suburb was caused by an electrical fault, state media say

Syria has denied reports that a series of blasts at a military airport near Damascus on Sunday were from Israeli air strikes, state media say.

The loud blasts, reported at the Mezzeh airport, were caused by an explosion at a munitions dump, Sana news agency said, citing Syrian military sources.

The incident was the result of an electrical fault, the agency added.

Israel has launched air strikes against Syria in the past and was accused of targeting Mezzeh airport last year.

The airport is believed to house Syrian Air Force intelligence.

On Sunday, the head of UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP news agency the Mezzeh military airport was struck by a “possible Israeli missile” fired across the occupied Golan Heights.

Earlier, an official in the regional alliance backing the Syrian government also said the blasts were caused by Israeli missile fire from across the Golan Heights.

But a Syrian military source later rejected the claim, stating that the base was not the target of “Israeli aggression”, according to state-run Sana.

Images posted on social media appeared to show several powerful blasts in the area.

In May, Israel said it had attacked Iranian military infrastructure in Syria following what it said was an Iranian rocket attack on Israeli-held territory.

The following month, Israel said it had shot down a Syrian warplane which entered its airspace – a rare incident between the two foes.

In January last year, Syrian state media quoted the army as saying that several rockets had landed at the Mezzeh airport compound, accusing Israel of bombarding the area.

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