Syrian state media: air defense thwarts attack on Homs air base

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian military air defenses shot down missiles targeting the T4 air base in Homs province in an act of “aggression” on Sunday night, state media said.

The state media reports did not explain the origin and nature of the attack.

Damascus, as well as its allies Iran and Russia, blamed Israel for an April 9 air strike on the same Homs base, an attack that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) members. Tehran vowed at the time to respond.

Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of its arch enemy Iran during the seven-year war in neighboring Syria. Israel’s air force has struck scores of targets it described as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Iran-backed Hezbollah.

“The air defenses brought down a number of the missiles of the aggression on T4 airport,” state news agency SANA said on Sunday. The attack caused only material damage, it said.

An army officer in the southern Syrian desert said the defense system brought down missiles coming from south of the Tanf region towards the Homs air base.

U.S. Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban said that neither U.S. nor coalition forces carried out strikes in that area.

Reporting by Ellen Francis and Kinda Makieh, additional reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Keith Weir

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