BEIRUT (AP) — Russia and the Syrian military blamed Israel for a pre-dawn missile attack Monday on a major air base in central Syria that reportedly killed 14 people, including Iranians, while international condemnation grew over a suspected poison gas attack over the weekend that was blamed on the Syrian government.
Opposition activists said 40 people died in the chemical attack, blaming Syrian government forces. The U.N. Security Council planned to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the chemical attack.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles. It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the western part of the base. Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4. It gave no further details.
Israel’s foreign ministry had no comment when asked about reports of the airstrikes, which did not appear to be related to Saturday night’s alleged chemical weapons attack.
Since 2012, Israel has struck inside Syria more than 100 times, mostly targeting suspected weapons’ convoys destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces.