April 21, 2018

Country struck by missiles; officials claim USA not responsible

10 April 2018, 07:23 | Marta Robbins

Israel behind overnight airstrikes in Syria Russia says

Israel behind overnight airstrikes in Syria Russia says

Syria and its main ally Russian Federation blamed Israel for carrying out an attack on a Syrian air base near Homs on Monday which followed reports of a poison gas attack by President Bashar al-Assad's forces on a rebel-held town.

In November, Russia used its veto power at the council to block the renewal of a previous UN-led probe that found the Syrian air force had dropped sarin on the town of Khan Sheikhun in April a year ago.

According to Syrian officials, the air strikes killed and injured a large number of people and among those killed were Iranians and members of Iranian groups.

Israel sent fighter jets into Syria to down an Iranian drone that took off from there in February.

Syria initially said the West was involved.

The politician said the Syrian government was expecting a limited USA strike, similar to the one on Shayrat air base a year ago, which came after an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town in northern Syria that killed dozens of people.

Russian Federation and Iran have given crucial military and diplomatic backing to Assad's government throughout Syria's seven-year conflict, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

"We are on the edge of a risky precipice", she said.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the attack on the Syrian base.

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It was not initially clear who carried out the attack after both the USA and France denied that they were responsible for the attack.

Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the base yesterday, firing eight missiles.

"Without any grounds and without thinking about the consequences, the governments of the USA, the United Kingdom, and France are pursuing a confrontational policy towards Russia and Syria and are pushing the others toward this", Nebenzya was quoted as saying by Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Earlier, Syrian state media had spoken of dead and wounded at the base, without giving casualty figures.

The OPCW did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Israel has accused Damascus of allowing Iran to set up a complex at the T-4 base to supply arms to its ally, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and in the past its forces have hit convoys and bases of Iranian-backed militias that fight alongside Assad's troops.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the strike on the T-4 base was a risky development. The vast majority aren't officially claimed by the Israeli military.

"Three missiles reached the western part of the aerodrome, five were destroyed by the Syrian Air Defense Forces", the ministry said in a statement. "If it's Russian Federation, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out", Trump said. "Probably after the fact", Trump said.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday, Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia denied that chemical weapons had been used in Douma and said Syrian authorities and Russian troops would provide facilities for experts from the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to visit the attack area.

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