Syria accused Israel on Sunday of attacking an air force base near Homs known to be housing Iranian forces. This is the third time in a year that Israel has struck the site, according to foreign reports.
The official Syrian news agency SANA said air defenses were activated as warplanes, reportedly coming into the country from Jordan, approached the T4 base near Tiyas. The planes, which were said to be flying at low altitude to avoid detection, passed through the al-Tanaf area, where U.S. forces have a base.
Syria's state media said that military air defenses thwarted the act of "Israeli aggression." An army officer in the southern Syrian desert said the air defense system shot down missiles coming from south of the Tanaf region toward the air base. Reports said that around six missiles hit near the base, causing damage, but added that no one was hurt or killed.
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“It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets — both facilities and people,” said the Israeli military official.
The official said that the armed Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace a few days prior "opened a new period," and that “this is the first time we saw Iran do something against Israel — not by proxy." During the attack, Israel killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds force members, including Colonel Mehdi Dehghan, who led the drone unit operating out of T4, east of Homs.
Two weeks ago, two Israeli missiles struck a target near Damascus International Airport, Syrian state media said.
The target was an arms depot belonging to the Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. According to the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV, a source said Syrian air defense systems had intercepted two missiles in addition to the ones fired at the airport.