Blasts at Syrian airbase near Damascus kill two: Report

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Sep 02, 2018, 01:53 PM IST
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File photo. Photograph:(Reuters)

At least two people were killed on Sunday after a series of loud explosions at a military airport near the Damascus, Syria news agency AFP reported.

Syrian state media also reported blasts at the Mazzeh airbase in the capital which Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' head Rami Abdel Rahman said a "possible Israeli missile". 

"It left two pro-regime fighters dead and wounded another 11, some of them in critical condition," said Rahman. 

Whether the victims belonged to the military or government is not specified yet.

However local media have reported the cause of the explosion to be a technical issue at a munitions depot.

The Mazzeh airbase houses Syrian Air Force intelligence, and in early 2017 the Syrian government accused its neighbour Israel of bombing the base.

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes in Syria to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weaponry to its Lebanese enemy Hezbollah.

It has also pledged to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and a series of strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel.

Earlier this week, Israel reiterated its threat to hit Iranian military targets in Syria.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

In July, Syria accused Israel of bombing a military post in the northern province of Aleppo, where at least nine pro-regime fighters were killed according to the Observatory.

More than seven years since Syria's conflict began, regime forces have managed to retake entire regions from rebels and jihadists and now control nearly two-thirds of the country.

Syrian troops are supported the military by their Russian and Iranian allies, Tehran-backed Hezbollah fighters as well as Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan militiamen.

(With inputs from news agencies)