Series of explosions reported at Syrian military airport

Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-02 07:40:13-04

A series of explosions was reported late Saturday in al-Mazzeh, the location of a large military airport near Damascus.

The private, pro-regime news outlet al-Mayadeen originally reported that Israeli airstrikes hit the airbase near Damascus with multiple missiles. However, Syrian state media later cited an unnamed military source denying the base was hit by Israel.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) and Syria state television reported a “military source denies the exposure of the Mazzeh Airport to any Israeli aggression and the sounds of explosions that were heard resulted from explosion of an ammunition depot near the airport because of electrical failure.”

About four explosions were heard coming from the direction of the military airport Saturday, a Damascus resident told CNN.

“I assume it was from an airstrike because of the explosions afterwards and ambulances with firefighters that went to the scene,” the resident said.

Some clips of the explosions and the aftermath — seemingly filmed by phones at a distance — emerged on various forums including Facebook and WhatsApp. Video showed bright flashes of light in the night sky in some kind of explosion, but didn’t reveal precisely what caused the blasts.

Syrian state media in the past have widely reported Israeli and other airstrikes targeting regime bases, outposts or other Syrian targets.

Besides the military airport, the al-Mazzeh area is home to embassies, security buildings and the homes of some members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, according to opposition activists.