Syrian air defences respond to missile attack on two airbases

Damascus, April 17 (IANS) Syrian air defences responded to a missile strike, believed to be carried out by Israel, that targeted two airbases in Syria after midnight on Tuesday, according to the War Media, the media wing of the Syrian army.

Six missiles targeted the Shayrat airbase in the central province of Homs and the Syrian air defences intercepted most of them, Xinhua reported citing the report, adding that three other missiles targeted the Dumair airbase in the Dumair area in the eastern Qalamoun region north of Damascus and were all intercepted before reaching their targets.

Meanwhile, the state news agency SANA reported the overnight attack in Homs, spelling no further details but added that the source of the missile strike is not yet known amid speculations that Israel is more likely to be behind the attack after the Pentagon denied carrying out operations on the aforementioned airbases.

The Shayrat airbase was hit by a US missile strike in April of 2017 over allegations of chemical weapons’ use by the Syrian army in Idlib province in the same year.

Pan Arab al-Mayadeen TV said the targeting of the Dumair airbase comes a day before a deal was to be reached for the evacuation of rebels from that area.

The fresh attack comes as the US, France, and Britain launched a missile strike on Syrian military positions in the capital Damascus and in Homs last Saturday over the same allegations of chemical weapons’ use by the Syrian government forces.

Also, the Israeli warplanes fired missiles on the T-4 airbase in the eastern countryside of Homs on April 9, killing 14 soldiers, including Iranian fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Meanwhile, the Syrian state TV aired still image of what it said was the air defences intercepting the missiles.

No country has yet claimed the attack after midnight but US officials recently said that Washington wasn’t planning another strike after the missile strike on Saturday.

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