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Syria accuses Israel of missile strikes on Damascus military airport

By Stephen Feller
Syria accuses Israel of missile strikes on Damascus military airport
Syrian officials accused Israel of bombing the military airport in Mezzeh early Friday morning, marking the third month in a row a bombing near Damascus has been blamed on the Israelis, and second in two months at the airport. Syria said Israel is trying to boost the morale of groups that have been fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government during the six-year-long civil war going on there. Photo by Google Maps

DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Syrian military officials accused Israel of bombing a military airport on Friday, in what they say is an effort to support terrorist groups hostile to President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The Syrian Armed Forces Command blamed explosions at the Mezzeh military airport near Damascus just after midnight Friday on Israeli pilots firing missiles at strategic locations at the base to "bolster the morale of terrorist groups." Israeli officials declined to comment on the bombing.

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Israel has previously struck inside Syria in an effort to keep weapons, ammunition and other supplies out of the hands of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, who the Israelis have previously fought wars against.

"This aggressive action was a desperate attempt to bolster the morale of terrorist groups," the Syrian Army said in a statement read on state television, and said Israel could not affect its goals to "wage war on the terrorists until their full elimination and hack off the hands that might be supporting them."

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The Syrians claim Israel launched the attacks with jets based in the Golan Heights to help the terror group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra. Syria also claims it has recently been finding Israeli-manufactured weapons in the hands of militants all over the country.

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In late November and early December, Syria accused Israel of first striking an area near Damascus from Lebanese airspace, and then days later claimed it had launched missiles at the same airport in Mezzeh bombed this morning.

Israeli officials, who generally do not comment on whether or not they have launched any specific mission, have previously said they will go after any group helping terrorists obtain weapons.

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