1973 raid on al-Mazzah Airport

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Coordinates: 33°28′41″N 36°13′29″E / 33.478131°N 36.224836°E / 33.478131; 36.224836

1973 raid on al-Mazzah Airport
Part of Yom Kippur War
F-4E Israel HAPIM0321.jpg
Israeli F-4E
Date 13 October 1973
Location al-Mazzah Airport, near al-Mazzah, Damascus
Result Israeli victory
 Israel  Syria
8 F-4 Phantoms
2 A-4 Skyhawks
4 Mirage IIIC
3 helicopters
Syrian Air Defense Force
Syrian Air Force
Casualties and losses
1 F-4 II destroyed
1 F-4J Phantom II damaged
1 airfield destroyed
2 MiGs destroyed

The 1973 raid on al-Mazzah Airport took place on October 13, 1973, and was one of a series of bombing raids carried out by the Israeli Air Force deep inside Syria during the Yom Kippur War.[1]


Israeli F-4s and Mirage IIICs approached Al-Mazzah airport to conduct a series of raids to neutralize the bases capable of launching attacks over Israeli airspace. Shortly after crossing into Syrian airspace, the Israeli formations came under heavy fire by Soviet-made Syrian Air Force MiG-21s.[2] The Israeli pilots managed to shoot down two of the MiG-21s and then concentrated their attack on the airbase itself. Using the Mirage IIIC's bombing capabilities, they were able to crater the runways and inflict light ground losses. During the raid a MiG-21 shot down an F-4 Phantom; both the pilot and the navigator survived, but they crashed on hostile ground near the airbase, and shortly after that were rescued by IDF forces. Another F-4 Phantom was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire from the airbase; the plane was escorted back to Israeli airspace, and safely returned home.[2]

Preluding ground battle[edit]

During the ongoing air raid on the base, an F-4 Phantom II crashed near the base.[2] IDF forces planned an operation to extract the downed pilot to safety, the IDF launched an attack, and the Syrian Army responded aggressively with heavy gunfire and artillery fire.[2] In the end the ground battle was a success for the IDF, and the Syrian army took minimal losses on the ground.[2] One F-4 Phantom II was crippled during the engagement, but was escorted back to safety despite repeated efforts by the Syrian Air Force to shoot down the crippled aircraft.[2]


Following the attack, a battle erupted between the IDF and Syrian forces, as the IDF attempted to rescue a pilot and a navigator who ejected from their F-4 Phantom II during the raid.[1] The raid was primarily an Israeli victory as they sustained minimal losses, compared to the losses of the Syrian Air Force, which lost the airbase and two MIG-21's.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "1973 al Mazzah Airport Raid: Latest News, Videos, Photos | Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "1973: The Yom Kippur War". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. 1973-10-09. Retrieved 2013-05-10.