Dawn attack shook Damascus military complex

Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:47am EST
 

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

AMMAN (Reuters) - The force of the dawn attack on a Syrian military site outside Damascus on Wednesday shook the ground, waking nearby residents from their slumber with up to a dozen blasts, two sources in the area said.

"We were sleeping. Then we started hearing rockets hitting the complex and the ground started shaking and we ran into the basement," said a woman who lives adjacent to the sprawling Jamraya site north-west of the Syrian capital.

The resident, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity over a reported strike in the area by Israel on Wednesday morning, said she could not tell whether the explosions which woke her were the result of an aerial attack.

Details of the strike remain sketchy and, in parts, contradictory. Syria said Israeli warplanes, flying low to avoid detection by radar, crossed into its airspace from Lebanon and struck the Jamraya military research center.

But diplomats, Syrian rebels and regional security sources said the planes hit a weapons convoy heading from Syria to Lebanon, apparently destined for President Bashar al-Assad's ally Hezbollah, and the rebels said they - not Israel - hit Jamraya with mortars.

Another source who has a relative working inside Jamraya reported that a building inside the complex had been cordoned off on Wednesday employees believed it had been hit. Flames could be seen rising from the area after the attack, they said.

"It appears that there were about a dozen rockets that appeared to hit one building in the complex," the source, who also asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

"The facility is closed today," he added.   Continued...

 
Map locating the Syrian town Jamraya which was hit by an Israeli air strike on Wednesday.