UPDATE: The Russian Defense Ministry commented on the incident by saying that Israel was behind the last night attack. According to the Russian military, two Israeli F-15 warplanes launched 8 missiles at the Tiyas airbase. 5 missiles were shot down by the SADF. 3 missiles reached the western part of the airbase.
Last night, the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF) responded to a missile attack on the T4 airbase located in the country’s Homs province, on the highway between the cities of Palmyra and Homs.
According to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA, the SADF shot down at least 8 missiles. However, there were several “martyrs and wounded” in the incident.
The Russian state-run news agency Sputnik reported citing an “informed source source” that there had been no casualties and material damage as a result of the missile attack.
“The Syrian Air Defense Force has destroyed a few missiles, which attacked the T-4 air base. The missiles fell in the vicinity of the airfield,” Sputnik quoted the source as saying.
Local sources also indicate that no “notable” damage had been delivered to the base. However, the situation with the casualties remain unclear.
Watch Syrian air defense fire missile towards object overhead short time ago. Israel is suspected of being behind airstrikes tonight targeting an Iranian affiliated airbase in Syria. pic.twitter.com/1IDU2GLECo
— Israel Breaking (@IsraelBreaking) 9 April 2018
The SANA said that the US may have been behind the missile strike. However, the US Department of Defense officially denied this:
“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” the Pentagon told Reuters in a statement. “However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) rejected to comment on the reports about the missile strike in Syria. However, a video appeared online showing unidentified fighter jets in Lebanese airspace prior to the strike. Considering that the IDF often uses Lebanese airspace to launch missiles at targets inside Syria, Israel is the main suspect in the last night attack.
— Tontonaoun (@Tontonaoun1) 9 April 2018
According to Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV channel, ISIS terrorists attacked the Syrian Arab Army in Sebaa-Biar area in the Homs desert following the missile strike. Nonetheless, the attack was repelled.
It’s interesting to note that the efficiency of Israeli airstrikes in Syria has significantly has significantly decreased over the past few years. In February 2018, the IDF even lost a F-16I warplane as a result of the SADF’s retaliatory fire.
Some Syrian experts speculated that the IDF’s recent problems with delivering strikes in Syria are the reason why Israeli officials and public figures had encouraged US President Donald Trump to use a direct force against the Syrian government on April 8 following reports on the alleged chemical attack in Douma. However, despite a fierce tweet chain slamming Putin, Russia, Iran and “Animal Assad”, the Trump administration conducted no direct actions last night. So, according to this version of the events, Israel once again attempted to act on its own.
A fact contributing to this version is that the Israeli F-16I was shot down in February when it was conducting strikes on alleged Iranian positions in the T4 Airbase.