Amid the growing tensions between Damascus and Jerusalem, Syria claimed on Tuesday that it shot down several missiles that were headed toward an airbase near Homs. After some reports accused Israel of carrying out the strike, an IDF spokesperson reiterated the military’s policy of not commenting on foreign reports.
Smoke over Syrian villages (archive) Photo Credit: Basel Awidat/Flash 90
Syrian TV reported early Tuesday morning that aerial defense forces intercepted six missiles that were fired at the Al Shayrat airbase. The airbase, located near Homs, was targeted last year in an American airstrike in response to a chemical weapons attack in Idlib.
Media outlets affiliated with Hezbollah added that three additional missiles were fired at the Dumair military airport near Damascus. However, the Syrian reports did not mention the second target.
So far, no country has taken responsibility for the airstrike. After some reports placed the blame on Israel, an IDF spokesman said that the Israeli military does not comment on foreign reports. In addition, Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb denied any American involvement when she told reporters that “there are no US or coalition operations in that area.”
In recent days, the tensions between Syria and Israel have escalated amid reports that Israeli fighter jets attacked the T-4 airbase near Homs, leading to the deaths of over 10 people. Israel has remained silent about the reports, neither confirming nor denying them. However, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman claimed on Sunday that a senior IDF official told him that Israel was behind the attack.
“It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets — both facilities and people,” the senior military source told Friedman. In the attack, seven Iranians were killed.