Early on the morning of December 7th reports began to emerge from pro-Assad and pro-Hizballah sources concerning an explosion at the Mazzeh military airport near Damascus.
““Residents of the capital Damascus awoke at approximately 4:00 a.m. to the [sound] of explosions and rising flames and smoke inside the Mazzeh Military Airport,” Al-Mayadeen reported Wednesday morning, citing a statement issued by the Hezbollah-affiliated War Media.
“It is almost certain that Zionist rockets targeted the Mazzeh Military Airport from Lebanese airspace,” the statement said, adding that the Syrian government has yet to make an official announcement on the matter.
Explosions rocked the facility for half an hour while ambulances rushed to the scene, according to the statement carried by Al-Mayadeen, a Beirut-based network that staunchly supports the Bashar al-Assad regime. […]
Meanwhile, a pro-Assad news page based in the regime’s coastal heartland was one of the first to claim that Israeli raids targeted the Mazzeh facility.
“Two Israeli raids targeted the Mazzeh military airport… a number of people have been martyred and injured,” the Al-Bahluliyah News Agency alleged in a post that included footage purporting to show blasts rip through the airport. […]
However, another claim circulated on pro-regime social media outlets held that the explosions were merely the result of an accidental discharge in an arms depot located within the airport.”
Later on in the day, Syrian state media made similar claims, peppered with the usual regime propaganda.
““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.”
Other Arabic media, including al Jazeera and al Arabiya, confirmed that a large explosion had occurred at the airport. Some reports said the fire was caused when a weapons depot exploded.”
Despite the unreliability of those obviously partisan sources and the absence of any confirmation of the allegations, some 17 hours after the event visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page were informed that “‘Israeli missiles’ hit Damascus airbase”.
The article to which that link leads is headlined “Syria conflict: ‘Israel missiles’ hit Damascus military airport” and tagged ‘Syrian civil war’ despite the fact that its subject matter is not connected to that topic.
“Syrian state media say an Israeli missile strike has targeted a military airport on the outskirts of Damascus.
The attack in Mezzeh is reported to have caused fires, but no casualties.
The Israeli military has made no comment, but it is the second time in a week that it is alleged to have carried out a strike on Syrian territory.”
The BBC’s report uncritically amplifies the Syrian regime allegations:
“Syria’s state news agency, Sana, cited a military source as saying that a number of surface-to-surface missiles landed around Mezzeh airport at 03:00 (00:00 GMT).
They were reportedly fired by Israeli forces from a position “west of Tal Abu Nada”, a mountain in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights known as Mount Avital to Israelis.”
It then goes on to unquestioningly amplify Syrian regime propaganda:
“The military source said the attack was part of Israel’s “desperate attempts” to support “terrorist groups and raise their deteriorating morale”, an apparent reference to recent losses on the battlefield by Western-backed rebel forces.”
This is the second time in a week – and at least the tenth time in the last three years – that the BBC has given unchallenged and unquestioned amplification to falsehoods put out by the Assad regime alleging Israeli support for Syrian rebel factions.
The BBC clearly needs to explain to its funding public why they are being serially fed unqualified, inaccurate Syrian regime propaganda that obviously hinders understanding of this particular “international issue“.
BBC News amplifies unchallenged Syrian regime propaganda yet again