Syrian air defences hit Israeli warplane, intercept missiles

  • Syrian air defences hit Israeli warplane, intercept missiles

Syrian air defences hit Israeli warplane, intercept missiles

Syrian state media reported on Sunday that air defences had thwarted an Israeli missile attack on the T-4 airbase near Homs, and that they hit an attacking jet and forced others out of its airspace.

The air base was also hit on 10 February, after Israel accused Iranian forces at the T4 base of sending a drone into Israeli territory.

In addition to the Syrian army, Iranian fighters and Lebanese Hezbollah troops are also stationed at the air base, according to the Observatory.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel does not comment on foreign reports.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that a missile bombardment killed an unspecified number of "Iranian and pro-regime fighters" at the T-4 base and was "likely to be Israeli". Israel's air force has struck scores of targets it described as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Iran-backed Hezbollah.

The TV aired a cell phone video footage, showing the air defence missiles twinkling in the night chasing the Israeli targets.

Tensions have risen dramatically between the two arch-enemies in recent months and following the strike, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the time when Iran's enemies could "hit and run" was over.

But Syrian government officials repeatedly said that the targeted areas are Syrian bases and the soldiers killed were Syrians.

Israel took control of the 1,200 square kilometers of the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and unilaterally annexed the area in 1981.

Prior to the strike on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again demanded that Iran retreat from Syria, a position he will pursue when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.

"The Zionist regime tries to gain dominance over Syria after Daesh, but resistance forces and military advisers from the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue their presence alongside Syria to counter terrorism, " he added.