Israeli airstrikes hit T-4 air base in Homs
An Assad army spokesman told regime media that four Israeli missiles did reach the base, but said air defences intercepted several others.
Regime television earlier did not say who was behind the attack on the major air base, which Israel accuses of hosting an Iranian military presence and has attacked several times in recent years.
“The Israeli airforce conducted new aerial aggression and immediately our air defences confronted the enemy missiles,” an army statement said.
The statement said the Israeli war jets flew from Tanf, to the southeast, where the United States has set up a base near the Iraqi-Jordanian border.
Tanf lies on the strategic Damascus-Baghdad highway, a major supply route for Iranian weapons into Syria. This makes the base a bulwark against Iranian regime and part of a larger US campaign against Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria.
Israel has repeatedly bombed Iranian backed militia targets in Syria, saying its goal was to end Tehran’s military presence which Western intelligence sources say has expanded in recent years in the war-torn country.
The Israel Defence Force did not immediately comment on the attack.
Tuesday’s strikes are the first which Syria accused Israel of undertaking since the United States killed Iran’s most powerful military commander in a drone strike on Jan. 3, sparking one of the biggest escalations between Tehran and Washington since 1979.
Iranian regime’s proxy militias led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah now hold sway in vast areas in eastern and southern Syria and northwest as well as several suburbs around the capital.
They have also entrenched themselves in the strategically located border town of Bukamal on the Euphrates river in Deir ez-Zoor province in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq where Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitary groups have a strong foothold.
Western intelligence sources say Israel has been behind several strikes against Iranian assets in the border area in recent weeks.
Israel in the past has said Iranian regime uses the T4 base to transfer weapons to Hezbollah. Western intelligence sources say it has also been used as a base for Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards.
Based on Reuters