Syrian air defense shoots down missiles over Homs - state media

The Russian Defense MInistry

Six missiles targeted the Shayrat airbase in the central province of Homs and the Syrian air defences intercepted majority, Xinhua reported citing the report, adding that three other missiles targeted the Dumair airbase in the Dumair area in the eastern Qalamoun region north of Damascus and were all intercepted before reaching their targets.

Shayrat air base was targeted by United States forces in 2017 after a suspected chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun that Washington blamed on the Syrian government. No country has yet claimed the attack after midnight but U.S. officials recently said that Washington wasn't planning another strike after the missile strike on Saturday.

The US, France, and Britain launched a volley of strikes Saturday morning on positions around the capital Damascus and the central city of Homs.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, but the United States said its military was not involved.

Dumair is used by Syria's military to support the campaign against rebels in eastern Ghouta.

But US Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb said: "There are no US or coalition operations in that area". Another strike earlier this month in Homs was blamed on Israel.

Asked about the missile attack, an Israeli military spokesman said: "We don't comment on such reports".

Shayrat air base was targeted by US Tomahawk missiles in April previous year in a strike ordered by President Donald Trump in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib.

Israel has long said Iran was expanding its influence in a belt of territory that stretches from the Iraqi border to the Lebanese border, where Israel says Iran supplies Hezbollah with arms. Syria and its allies most recently accused Israel of launching a strike against Syria's T4 airbase in Homs, killing four Iranian military personnel.

Various sources claimed the attack was carried out by Israeli aircraft.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov described it as a "provocation" and a "very unsafe development".

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