Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Syria says United States suspected of attacking air base but Pentagon denies it

Syrian media report missile strike on airbase in Homs Syrian media report missile strike on airbase in Homs
Gerardo Duncan | 10 April, 2018, 20:23

"Our air defence systems are blocking the missile attack", state news agency SANA said early Monday.

According to Syria's SANA news agency, the attack might have been carried out by the United States.

The Pentagon said it wasn't conducting airstrikes, with a spokesman saying that "we continue to closely watch the situation".

A military spokeswoman for Israel, which on occasions in the past has struck targets inside Syria, declined to comment on explosions at T4.

Syrian state TV said there were casualties in what it said was a suspected US missile attack on the T-4 airfield near Homs, which is close to the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria.

The agency said it was likely "an American aggression" but USA officials say the United States had not launched airstrikes on Syria.

An informed source told Sputnik on Monday that the Syrian Air Defense Force shot down the missiles.

The French military has issued a statement, saying that it hadn't conduct a strike on the base.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead in the air base attack included Syrian, Asian and Arab nationals, who were allied with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Monday's missile attack followed a suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on the last remaining foothold for the Syrian opposition in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. It also, perhaps, came as a bit of a surprise as Trump has often been criticised for his lack of the same towards his Russian counterpart for his country's alleged involvement in the meddling of the 2016 USA presidential election.

The alleged attack on Saturday killed 40 in the rebel-held town of Douma, multiple opposition and rescue groups including told The Associated Press, which was unable to independently verify the reports.

On Sunday, President Trump expressed his disgust at the gas attack, tweeting, 'Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. "Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world". He tweeted on Sunday there would be a "big price to pay" and said Russian Federation, its president, Vladimir Putin, and Iran were responsible for enabling "Animal Assad".

"Big price to pay", he added.

This came hours after US President Donald Trump took to his Twitter handle to vent out his exasperation over an alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, criticising the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran for backing "Animal Assad".

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned against military action on the basis of "invented and fabricated excuses".

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that Russian Federation expects Turkey to bring the strategic northern Syrian town of Afrin, previously held by Syrian Kurdish forces, under the control of the Syrian government.

The attacks have come almost a week after Trump expressed his desire to bring the USA troops back to the country.

One month ago, after reports of gas attacks against rebels, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said "it would be very unwise for them to use weaponized gas".

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported a missile attack on the country on Monday morning, while US officials are saying the military has not launched any strikes.

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