DAMASCUS, Jan.13 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army accused Israeli warplanes of targeting a key airbase west of the capital Damascus after midnight Friday, state TV reported.

A military statement said Israeli warplanes fired several rockets from outside the Syrian airspace, targeting the vicinity of the Mazzeh airbase in the Mazzeh neighborhood, causing fire in the area.

It branded the attack as a "desperate move to support the terrorist groups" in Syria.

The Syrian army warned Israel of the repercussions of this "flagrant aggression," stressing that Syrian military forces will continue to eliminate the terrorist groups across Syria and to "cut off the hands standing behind it."

The strikes that targeted the base caused a series of explosions that were clearly heard in the areas near Damascus.

Heavy fire and smoke billowed in the area, as ambulances and firefighters rushed to the scene.

The vicinity of the airbase was heavily hit last month, and the Syrian army said then that Israeli rockets landed near the base.

Also, on Nov. 30, 2016, Israeli warplanes fired rockets on military posts in western Damascus, causing property damage, according to a military statement.

Israel often justifies its strikes either as retaliation against stray shelling targeting areas under its control in the Golan Heights area or as strikes targeting posts of the Lebanese Hezbollah group inside Syria.

However, the Syrian government has repeatedly accused Israel of rendering support to the rebel groups in Syria, which the government of President Bashar al-Assad deems as terrorists.