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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Israel launches missile strike on airbase in Syria

Syrian state media claims it shot down four to six missiles, hit a jet and forced others to leave its airspace

Israeli soldiers look at the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria border. Ronen Zvulun / Reuters
Israeli soldiers look at the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria border. Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Syrian state media reported on Sunday that air defences had thwarted an Israeli missile attack on the T-4 airbase near Homs, and that they hit an attacking jet and forced others out of its airspace.

The official news agency Sana reported that around 10pm local time defences blocked a “missile aggression” on T-4 airbase in rural Homs and claimed that the damages “are only material”. Later, Sana accused Israel being responsible for the strikes and said that at least four missiles were shot down.

The agency also reported that the Syrian defences “hit one of the attacking jets” while forcing the others out of Syrian airspace.

Around the time of the attack, witnesses tweeted that “warplanes coming from Jordan and flying low attempted to reach T-4 airbase by sneaking through Al Tanaf area”, and that S-200 missiles were launched in response.

This is third time this year that Israel is reported to have struck T-4 airbase following attacks in February and April. The airbase is used by Iran for weaponry storage and training, according to a monitor.

Tayfur Airbase
Tayfur Airbase

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that a missile bombardment killed an unspecified number of "Iranian and pro-regime fighters" at the T-4 base and was "likely to be Israeli".

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In addition to the Syrian army, Iranian fighters and Lebanese Hezbollah troops are also stationed at the air base, the Observatory claimed.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest incident.

Syrian state outlets published a video of a flash in dark sky, claiming it showed the air defences responding to the bombardment.

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