Thursday, January 12, 2017

Escalation In The Middle East: Israeli Airstrikes Target Military Airport In Damascus, S China Sea: China May Strike Back If U.S. Blocks Beijing's Access To Disputed Islands

Israeli Airstrikes Target Military Airport in Damascus

A Mezzah military air facility was struck by several explosions near the Syrian capital of Damascus. Israeli rockets took aim at an ammunitions hub, producing an enormous explosion, according to Syrian state TV.

"Rockets strike at Mezzeh Military airport in Damascus minutes ago," Hadi al-Bahra, former president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces said on Twitter in the early hours of Friday, posting pictures of the explosions. The blasts were reportedly caused by heavy bombing conducted by Israel, local activists and journalists reported on Twitter.
The airport is a major strategic asset used by Syrian elites, military officials and troops as a transit complex.

​The Syrian government also used the airport as a military outpost to launch artillery shells at former rebel-held areas in the suburbs of Damascus.

​The death toll from the attacks has yet to be determined, according to a journalist on the ground. The airstrikes "may have taken out Syrian commanders," according to Georgetown Center for Security Studies' John Arterbury. 

Syrian state TV says that the Israeli military conducted the airstrike. The Israeli military declined comment.

Following the attacks, a Syrian Army spokesman warned that Israel would face repercussions of the "flagrant" attack on the Mezzah military airport. A spokesman was also quoted on Syrian state TV saying that the projectiles originated near Lake Tiberias in northern Israel just after midnight.

Just as the Syrian proxy war showed some hopeful signs of finally dying down, the Syrian army command said on Friday that Israeli jets have bombed the Mezzeh military airport west of Damascus, accusing Tel Aviv of supporting terrorism, and warned Tel Aviv of repercussions of what it called a "flagrant" attack. Syrian state TV quoted the army as saying several rockets were fired from an area near Lake Tiberias in northern Israel just after midnight which landed in the compound of the airport, a major facility for elite Republican Guards and special forces. The airport was rocked by multiple explosions, some of which were captured by social media.

"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, but said the rockets caused a fire. Earlier, state television said several major explosions hit Mezzeh military airport compound near Damascus and ambulances were rushed to the area, without giving details.

The airport southwest of the capital is a major strategic air base used mainly by Syrian elite Republican Guards and had been a base used to fire rockets at former rebel-held areas in the suburbs of Damascus. State television did not give any further details.

Footage from the scene with heavy fire and the sounds of explosions has surfaced on social media. Multiple reports from journalists and activists on the ground described the bombing, with the opposition also reporting there were rockets fired.
“Rockets strike at Mezzeh Military airport in Damascus minutes ago,” tweeted Hadi al-Bahra, former president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces.
In the past, Israel has targeted positions of Lebanon's Hezbollah group inside Syria where the Iranian-backed group is heavily involved in fighting alongside the Syrian army. According to Israeli breaking, the airport was bombed because it was a "suspected holding ammunition depots for Hezbollah. "

Rebels operating in the area have said Hizbollah's major arms supply route into Damascus from the Lebanese border has been targeted on several occasions in recent years by air strikes. This has included strikes on convoys of weapons and warehouses.

This is the second time in two months the Israeli Defense Forces have being accused by Syria of targeting Syrian positions from Israeli territory.  On December 7, SANA reported that “several surface-to-surface missiles” were launched by the IDF from the Golan Heights. At the time, the source in the Syrian armed forces slammed the attack as a “desperate attempt” by Israel to endorse terrorists.   

series of major explosions were reported around a military airbase near the Syrian capital of Damascus just after midnight on Thursday. Local media outlets attributed the airstrikes on the al-Mazzeh airport to Israeli military aircraft.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage inflicted by the strikes, but ambulances were said to be en route to the scene.
An AFP correspondent heard several explosions and saw a large fire inside the Mazzeh military airport, with smoke ​visible across the capital.
Videos posted online purporting to show Friday’s attack showed several massive fires, with sirens wailing in the background.
“At 3:00 a.m., the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles from inside occupied territory,” the state news agency SANA said, citing a military source. The report said the Israeli missiles caused a large fire but no injuries or deaths.
SANA said the missiles were fired from a position “west of Tal Abu Nada,” a mountain in the Israeli Golan Heights known as Mount Avital in Israel.
The Syrian military source called the alleged missile attack against the Mazzeh airbase part of “desperate attempts by the Israeli enemy to support terrorist groups and raise their low morale.”

Fiery rhetoric from US President-elect Donald Trump or his nominees will reportedly not stop China from changing its actions in the South China Sea. It may in fact push Beijing to retaliate if Washington provokes by blocking its access to the man-made islands, experts from the communist country said on Thursday (12 January).

China's reaction came hours after Trump's secretary of state nominee,
Rex Tillerson, suggested that China should be denied entry to the disputed territories
saying its aggressive domination in the region could pose serious threat to the global economy.

Any attempt by the US would only prompt China to enhance its military built-up, including setting up Air Defense Identification Zone in the hotly contested waters, the experts said in response to Tillerson's proposal.

"What's been built has been built... It should be noted that rising American military pressure could be used to justify China's military deployment," Wu Xinbo, head of American Studies at Shanghai's Fudan University was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It has been foretold that the middle east will never be in peace.