Iranians killed in alleged Israeli airstrike on Syrian base T-4

Syria Reuters

BEIRUT - Russia and the Syrian military blamed Israel for a pre-dawn missile attack Monday on an air base in central Syria, saying Israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from Lebanon's air space. While many observers initially believed the USA had carried out the strike in response to the Assad regime's alleged chemical attack on civilians in the Damascus suburb of Douma, Russia, Syria and Iran publicly blamed Israel. "Iran backs Syria in its fight against America and the Zionist Regime (Israel)", Ali Akbar Velayati told state TV during his visit to eastern Ghouta in Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russian specialists had found no trace of a chemical attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma, after allegations from the global community.

Syria denies ever using chemical weapons during the war and says it eliminated its chemical arsenal under a 2013 agreement brokered by the USA and Russian Federation.

The attack comes just a day after the United States, the European Union, as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey, had accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.

Reports after the strike indicated that at least 14 were killed, with Iranian officials announcing that seven members of its military died in the attack.

On April 9, at dawn, the Tayfur air base, located between the cities of Homs and Palmyra, was hit by missiles, most probably fired by the Israeli army.

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US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, spoke by phone and promised a "strong, joint response" to the chemical attack that killed dozens, the White House said on Sunday.

Iran calls its fighters in Syria the defenders of the shrine as it says the forces are there to protect the Zeinab Shrine, a Shi'ite holy site near Damascus.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "made a preliminary analysis of the reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons immediately after they were issued", said director general Ahmet Uzumcu.

"President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad".

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The raid came as worldwide outrage mounted over a reported chemical weapons attack on a rebel-controlled town outside the Syrian capital.

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