Syria military forces accused Israel of attacking the Tiyas, or T-4, Air Base, outside of the Syrian city of Palmyra. Air defenses were activated and Damascus claims it hit an Israeli fighter in the process, along with downing several missiles.
Israel does not usually comment on military activities, so the information has not yet been verified.
Syrian air defenses were activated near the T-4 air base in central Syria on Sunday night, in response to an airstrike on the facility, which Syrian state media attributed to the Israeli military.
Syria’s SANA news outlet claimed that the country’s air defenses “damaged one of the attacking aircraft and forced the rest to leave the airspace.” The state mouthpiece also said that the air defenses intercepted a number of incoming missiles aimed at the base, reported The Times of Israel.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that a missile bombardment targeted “Iranian fighters” at the base.
Israel has accused Iran of deploying its Quds Force at the facility and has attacked the base in the past.
Israel has repeatedly stated that it will not allow Iran to set up a permanent military entrenchment in Syria and is prepared to take military action to prevent such a presence. Recent weeks have also seen the IAF stepping up its efforts to keep Iran from carrying out reprisals against Israel for the April 9 airstrike, according to Israeli officials.
On May 10, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s al-Quds Force launched 32 rockets at Israel’s forward defensive line on the Golan Heights border, Israel said. Four of them were shot down; the rest fell short of Israeli territory. In response, over the next two hours, Israeli jets fired dozens of missiles at Iranian targets in Syria and destroyed a number of Syrian air defense systems,, reported The Times of Israel.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) July 8, 2018
President Trump and the U.S national security staff recently declared that Assad is no longer the strategic threat in the region and shifted the focus to Iran, and its attempt to build a land bridge for Shia forces from Tehran to the Mediterranean.
Russian news outlet, RIA Novosti wrote, “Air defense systems repulsed Israel’s aggression, knocking down a number of missiles and knocking one of the attacking aircraft, forcing the others to leave the airspace,” quoting Syrian state media.