Despite President Trump adopting his harshest rhetoric yet to condemn Russia and the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical attack in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, a missile strike carried out overnight on a Syrian airfield was not the US’s doing.
Instead, Russia and Syria have accused Israel of carrying out the strike on Syria’s T-4 airfield, situated about halfway between Homs (Syria’s third-largest city) and Palmyra (famously the site of ancient ruins). RT reports that two Israeli F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the airfield from Lebanese airspace. The jets never entered Syria.
Of these, Syrian air defenses intercepted five. The attack left roughly 14 people dead, including Iranians and Syrians, the Associated Pressreported.
Russia and the Syrian military blamed Israel for a pre-dawn missile attack Monday on a major air base in central Syria, saying Israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from Lebanon’s air space. A war-monitoring group said the airstrikes killed 14 people, including Iranians active in Syria.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles. It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the western part of the base. Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4. It gave no further details.
Israel’s foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations.
Since 2012, Israel has struck inside Syria more than 100 times, mostly targeting suspected weapons’ convoys destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces.
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