Two civilians were reported killed and ten others, including a child, were injured in alleged Israeli airstrikes on a family home in Al Mazza neighbourhood in Damascus on November 12th, 2019, according to local sources. One source also reported that Syrian regime missiles reacting to an Israeli air attack also hit nearby homes.
The government’s Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the airstrike targeted the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Akram Al Ajouri. His son Mu’az Al Ajouri was reportedly killed, along with another person named Abdullah Yousef Hassan. Mu’az Al Ajouri’s daughter Batoul was reported injured. And according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Mu’az Al Ajouri’s wife was also injured.
Times of Israel identified “Ajouri’s bodyguard was the other man killed, Hebrew media reported”.
Further sources said that Akram Al Ajouri and his wife were injured in the attack; while others said he was not present in the building at the time of the explosion that took place in the early hours of Tuesday November 12th. According to SANA, the incident occurred around 4:14am.
SANA reported that the explosion caused by the airstrike was strong and that “the building targeted was heavily damaged and windows of nearby buildings and a number of cars were shattered.”
Free Deir Ezzor Radio, however, reported that “in an attempt to respond to an Israeli raid, a rocket fired by the regime forces landed on one of the residential buildings in Al Mazza neighbourhood of western villas near the Lebanese embassy”, reporting a number of killed and wounded people. No other source made this claim.
Step News Agency reported that the strikes targeted Iranian militias: “Israeli shelling targeted several missiles in a residential building where Iranian militias are stationed in Mazza area in Damascus. The initial toll is about 10 dead and several wounded.” It is unclear if these reported fatalities are civilians or belligerents.
Israel Hayom identified the location of the building struck as being near the Lebanese embassy in the western Al-Mazza area of Damascus, adding that “it is not known if it has any connection to the embassy to which it is adjacent”.
The combatant status of both Mu’az Al Ajouri and Abdullah Yousef Hassan was somewhat unclear – with both pictured in uniform prior to their deaths, and Mr al Ajouri given military honours at his funeral (though this may instead have reflected his father’s own status within Islamic Jihad.) However, no other sources identify either men as being a member of a militant organization.
The incident occured at approximately 4:14 am local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (4)
- Mu'az Al Ajouri Adult male killed
- Batoul Al Ajoura Child female injured
- Wife of Mu'az Al Ajouri Adult female injured
- Wife of Akram Al Ajouri Adult female injured
- Abdullah Yousef Hassan Age unknown male killed
Sources (28) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (5) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the western area of Al Mazzeh (المزة) neighbourhood. Reviewing audio-visual material we have narrowed down the location of this strike, west of Rahman mosque (جامع الرحمن) to the following coordinates: 33.497253, 36.236975.