Syria and its Russian ally blamed Israel on Monday for an airstrike on a Syrian air base, saying two warplanes launched missiles that killed 14 people, according to reports.
Citing the Russian Defense Ministry, the Interfax news agency reported that the F-15 jets carried out the strikes from Lebanese air space, according to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper.
Russian officials said the Syrian air defenses shot down five of eight missiles , while three others landed in the western part of the airfield near Homs, the news outlet reported.
“The Israeli aggression on the T4 airport was carried out with F-15 planes that fired several missiles from above Lebanese land,” state news agency SANA reported, according to Reuters.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the attack – coming hours after President Trump warned of a “big price to pay” following a poison gas attack on a rebel-held town near Damascus — was “a dangerous development.”
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war through a network of activists on the ground, said 14 died, including Iranians and also three Syrian officers.
Syrian state TV initially said the United States was suspected of carrying out the missile attack on the air base, Reuters reported.
The US Pentagon said it was not conducting airstrikes in Syria “at this time.
Asked about the Russian statement, an Israeli military spokesman told Haaretz he had no immediate comment.
Israel has previously attacked the T4 base twice, destroying an Iranian drone control center and communications systems, the paper reported.
The base, which was used as a launching pad for counter-offensive attacks against ISIS militants who were once stationed nearby, is near the Shayrat air base, which was targeted by US missiles last year in response to a chemical weapons attack.
Since 2012, Israel has struck Syria more than 100 times, mostly targeting suspected weapons’ shipments bound for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian government troops.
Just days after saying he wanted to pull the out of Syria, Trump on Sunday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran of responsibility for the gas attack on the last remaining foothold for Syrian rebels in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.
At least 40 people were killed in that assault, including families found in their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.
With Post Wires