Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Four Iranian fighters killed in air strike on Syrian air base

Four Iranian fighters killed in air strike on Syrian air base

Syria's state-run news agency said the military's air defences confronted a missile attack on air base in central Syria and shot down eight missiles.

It later added that there were "dead and wounded" in the strike, without giving exact casualty numbers.

Syria's state news agency says missiles have struck an air base in central Syria in the early hours of the day.

Forces from regime allies Russian Federation and Iran, as well as fighters from the Tehran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militia, are known to have a presence there, said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

Israel has accused Damascus of allowing Iran to set up a complex at the T-4 base to supply arms to its ally, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and in the past its forces have hit convoys and bases of Iranian-backed militias that fight alongside Assad's troops.

Map of Syria

When asked about the explosions, an Israeli spokeswoman declined to comment.

According to the reports, the chemical attack on Saturday killed at least 49 people and injured 500 others, Thomas Markram, the deputy to the United Nations high representative for disarmament affairs, told the Council.

The suspected chemical attack came as the Syrian regime on Friday intensified the air and ground assault on Douma, the last rebel foothold in eastern Ghouta district on the edge of the capital, Damascus.

Nebenzia alleged that the anti-government forces had chemical weapons and could stage an attack.

The report on SANA said the attack on the T4 military air base in Homs province "is likely to be an American aggression.' However, a spokesman for the Pentagon, Christopher Sherwood, said the USA was not conducting airstrikes in Syria".

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The Syrian opposition blamed the suspected chemical attack on Saturday in the town of Douma on government forces.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Trump by telephone and the two agreed that they would work together to establish clear responsibility for what Macron's office said they had agreed was a confirmed chemical attack.

One video shared by activists showed bodies of about a dozen children, women and men, some with foam at the mouth.

"British U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters ahead of the meeting that Britain "would prefer to start with a proper investigation", but all options were on the table and London was in close contact with its allies the United States and France".

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

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Following the attack, the rebel group Jaish al-Islam gave way to a Syrian government demand that it accept safe passage out to rebel-held areas at the Turkish border. However gaining access to samples on the ground would be hard.

The European Union also laid the blame squarely on Assad's government.

The EU also said evidence pointed to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces.

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