AIR STRIKES REPORTED IN SYRIA


Syrian media and eyewitnesses reported missile, anti-aircraft fire and fighter jets early Tuesday morning.

BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN  APRIL 17, 2018

yrian media and locals reported air strikes and Syrian air defense launching rockets in response in the early hours of Tuesday.

According to initial reports, the strikes may have targeted Al-Sayrat airbase and rural Homs, as well as areas around Damascus.

Days after US-led airstrikes hit Homs and Damascus on April 14, Syrian Twitter accounts blamed Israel for alleged strikes on Tuesday morning. The first reports emerged around 1:30am. Al Sura Media claimed fighter jets had targeted Syria’s T4 airbase, where Iranian troops are alleged to be present.

On Monday Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem warned that Iran and Israel are nearing open war as tensions are very high in Syria.

Syria’s Sana Ajel news claimed anti-aircraft units responded to an attack in Shayrat airbase near Homs. That was the same airbase the US struck in 2017 in response to a chemical weapons attack at Khan Sheikhoun.

Reports of strikes at Shayrat airbase and areas south of Damascus were dismissed as rumors by some commentators online. Syria’s regime is gearing up for a battle with ISIS in Yarmouk in southern Damascus, and some said that the sounds of missiles might be related to that conflict.

However, Al-Mayadeen and other pro-regime channels showed video of a strange light, which they claimed was part of the airstrikes, hovering in the sky.

The Pentagon said that the US was not involved in any strikes Tuesday morning.

The last week has seen several reported strikes in Syria. The New York Times quoted an unnamed Israeli military source as saying Israel had carried out an April 9 air strike in Syria.

The map below shows the location of the reported strikes.

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