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Syria air defences ‘shoot down’ missiles over two military airbases

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Syrian anti-aircraft defences shot down missiles fired at the Syrian airbase of Shayrat in Homs province and another base northeast of the capital, Damascus, Syria’s state television and pro-Iranian Hezbollah media said, reported South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).

State television showed pictures of a missile that was shot in the air above the airbase only days after a US, British and French attack on Syrian targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on the city of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus.

State television did not mention three missiles that were fired at Dumair military airport, northeast of Damascus, that pro-Iranian Hezbollah’s media service reported were intercepted by Syrian air defences.

Opposition sources say Dumair airport is a major airbase used in a large-scale military campaign waged by the Syrian army with Russian firepower that regained eastern Ghouta, a rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus.

A Pentagon spokesman said there was no US military activity in that area at this time.

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

hayrat airbase was targeted last year in a US cruise missile attack in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including children, on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Israel has struck Syrian army locations many times during the conflict, hitting convoys and bases of Iranian-backed militias that fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

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.

Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias have a large military presence in Syria and are well entrenched in central and eastern areas near the Iraqi border.

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The Syrian Air Defense has downed three Israeli missiles over the strategic Dumayr Airbase in eastern Damascus, Al-Mayadeen News reported tonight, reported Al Masdar News (Syria).

According to a field source in Damascus, the targeted Dumayr Airport is allegedly filled with Russian military personnel that recently held reconciliation talks with the rebel forces in the area.

No one appears to be harmed, as no missiles landed on the Dumayr Military Airport.

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Syrian air defence shot down missiles over the western city of Homs, the state news agency said early Tuesday, with the foiled strikes reportedly targeting regime air bases, reported The Times of Israel.

The news agency did not give further details and it was unclear who was behind the attack, which Syrian state television branded as an “aggression.”

Big explosions were heard near Al Shayrat Air base in Homs province, and in eastern Qalamoun near Damascus, where two other air bases are located, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said missiles did not hit any of the air bases.

Following reports the strike was carried out by Israel, an IDF spokesman said he was “not aware of such an incident.”

In Washington, Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb said that “there are no US or coalition operations in that area.”

Shayrat air base was targeted by US Tomahawk missiles in April last 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.

According to the Pentagon, US intelligence had established that the base was the launchpad for the alleged chemical attack.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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Category: Politics
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