Damage at Shayrat airbase in central Syria after a US airstrike, April 7, 2017
The Assad regime and activists say Israel has carried out more airstrikes inside Syria, this time on a regime airbase in Homs Province.
The Israeli missiles reportedly landed at 8:25 p.m. near Shayrat airbase, from where a sarin attack was launched against opposition-held Idlib Province in April 2017, killing about 90 people and wounding hundreds. The US bombed the base days later.
Last August explosions inside the base killed at least 28 regime troops. A regime military official blamed an ammunition depot which overheated, and regime media claimed a “technical fault during the transport of expired ammunition”.
State news agency SANA put out a template statement about Tuesday’s attack, claiming that a “number of missiles” were downed by air defenses.
The Israel Defense Forces rarely comment on their operations. Israeli media, focusing on Coronavirus and the future of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pay little attention to last night’s claims.
Israel has carried out hundreds of missile strikes inside Syria since the Syrian uprising of March 2011 against Assad regime, Iranian, and Hezbollah targets.
The attacks initially focused on Iranian transfers of weapons and missiles to Hezbollah and on the movement of Iranian and Hezbollah personnel to southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. They expanded across the country from 2017 as Prime Minister Netanyahu demanded complete Iranian military withdrawal.
Since then, the Israeli forces have been focusing on Iranian bases and personnel, repeatedly hitting targets near Damascus and in central and northwest Syria.
Last month the IDF, in an unusual acknowledgement of strikes, said it targeted positions of the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad near Damascus.