Explosions fit pattern of regular Israeli attacks, but Assad regime insists it is “short circuit”

There have been large explosions at the Assad regime’s Mezzeh airbase near Syria’s capital Damascus.

The blasts just after midnight on Sunday are widely attributed to Israeli strikes, with a missile setting off a munitions store.

The regime is insisting that there was no attack, and that the cause of the explosions was an “electrical short circuit”. Syria denied an attack had taken place.

However, the al-Mayadeen site, close to Hezbollah and the regime, said a missile had hit the base. The social media account of banker George Saghir, an outlet for the regime, also put responsibility on the Israelis:

A pro-Assad blogger with regime military sources echoed:

Israel has regularly struck positions of the Assad regime and its allies during the 7 1/2-year conflict. Initial attacks focused on stopping Iranian weapons and missile transfers to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a key ally of the regime, and on preventing an Iranian and Hezbollah presence in southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

However, in the past year the attacks have expanded across Syria, seeking to restrict the regime’s missile and chemical weapons capability. They are also supporting the demand of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for withdrawal of Iranian personnel and Iranian-led foreign militia from Syria.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu vowed that Israel will continue taking action against Iran and its allies, and will not be deterred by a defense cooperation agreement signed between the Assad regime and the Islamic Republic last month.