Saturday, May 4, 2013

 

Syria accuses Israel of attacking military research center in Damascus.




DAMASCUS, May 5 -- Israel launched an airstrike on a military research center in a suburb of the Syrian capital before dawn, the Syrian state TV said on Sunday.

"The state terrorism practiced by Israel in shelling the scientific research center is nothing but a desperate attempt to ease the pressure on the armed groups that are being squashed under the heavy blows of the Syrian army," it said.

Explosions rocked the northwestern Jamraya suburb early Sunday, the TV said, adding that casualties were feared.

According to a Xinhua reporter, four powerful explosions were heard in Damascus before daybreak Sunday. The blasts happened in swift succession and were heard across the capital.

In January, an Israeli airstrike targeted the same military research center in the area of Jamraya.

According to the Syrian media, the latest airstrike was aimed at boosting the morale of the armed rebels after their defeats over the past week.

"The Israeli entity has used its missiles to support the terrorism through targeting the research center," the state TV said.

The Syrian troops were gaining an upper hand in their battle against the West-backed rebels, driving them out of strategic central towns near the border with Lebanon.

The army also managed to quell a rebellion in the coastal city of Banyas.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese al-Manar TV cited Syrian security sources as saying that the Syrian air defense forces downed one Israeli jet that took part in the airstrike.

The TV said the Israeli warplanes also targeted weapons depots and military positions located behind the Qasioun Mountain. After the airstrike, the rebels attempted to attack the capital but were repelled by the Syrian army, it reported.

On Saturday, an alleged Israeli airstrike against Syria heightened tension between the two countries. The Syrian government said it was investigating the strike as Israel kept silent about the attack.


• The explosions in Damascus military research center were caused by an Israeli attack, the state TV said.

 • Four powerful explosions were heard in Damascus before daybreak Sunday.

 • The blasts happened in swift succession and were heard across the capital.

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