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    A Syrian army soldier prepares the Su-22 fighter jet for a flight at the Syrian Air Force base in Homs province. File photo

    Trump 'Delegated' Israelis to Attack Syrian T-4 Airbase – Syrian General

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    The Russian Defense Ministry reported Monday that two Israeli war planes attacked Syrian government forces' Tiyas airbase in Homs province on April 9. Speaking to Sputnik, Syrian Brigadier General Muhammed Mulhem shared his views on the apparent motivation behind the Israeli airstrike.

    Washington delegated Tel Aviv to conduct an airstrike on the Syrian T-4 airbase, Syrian military analyst Brigadier General Muhammed Mulhem told Sputnik Arabic, suggesting that the Trump administration wants to avoid direct confrontation with the Russian Armed Forces in the Arab Republic.

    "The attack on the T-4 airbase was conducted to raise the morale of terrorists so that they continue the task of the destruction of Syria entrusted to them," the Syrian general said. "Now everything is being done to delay the ultimate route of terrorists and distract attention from the US defeat in Eastern Ghouta. The US statement that it did not attack Syria should be understood in the sense that [the Americans] do not want to come into direct confrontation with Russia." 

    The April 9 Israeli attack on the Syrian Arab Air Force's (SyAAF) Tiyas airbase near Homs, also known as the T-4 airbase, was needed not only to divert public attention away from the victories of Syrian government forces in Eastern Ghouta, but also to test the country's air defenses, the Syrian military analyst suggested.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets carried out an airstrike on the T-4 airfield from Lebanese territory without entering Syria's airspace on early Monday. The ministry specified that five out of eight strikes were repelled by Syrian air defenses.

    "Three missiles reached the western part of the airfield. There are no Russian [military] advisers among those injured," the statement said.

    According to Iran's FARS news agency, at least four Iranian nationals were killed in the attack.

    The Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned Tel Aviv's move in a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations, saying that "the Israeli attack constitutes an indirect response to the success of the Syrian Arab Army in eliminating armed terrorist groups from the Damascus suburbs and other Syrian areas."

    Brig. Gen. Mulhem recalled that the Trump administration had repeatedly threatened Syria with a "retaliatory" airstrike over alleged chemical attacks in Syria groundlessly blamed on the SAA.

    On April 7 the US State Department told Sputnik that Washington is concerned about the reported chemical weapons use in the Syrian city of Douma. The alleged incident prompted Trump to pin the whole blame on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and claim that the latter will have a "big price to pay."

    In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned global players on April 8 against military intervention under false pretenses.

    "It is necessary to warn once again that military intervention under far-fetched and fabricated pretexts in Syria, where Russian servicemen are deployed at the request of the legitimate government, is absolutely unacceptable and might lead to very severe consequences," the statement said.

    The Syrian military analyst believes that "there is no doubt that Israel has fulfilled this act of aggression instead of the US."

    "Russia said that it would severely respond to American aggression, so Israel was appointed as an executor," Brig. Gen. Mulhem suggested. "Israel could not carry out this operation without coordination with the US."

    The Syrian general stressed that the country's air defense systems demonstrated their full combat readiness, calling attention to the fact that Israeli fighter jets did not dare to cross the Syrian border, as they would have been shot down had they entered the country's airspace.

    Earlier, in February 2018, the Israeli Air Force conducted an attack on the Syrian T-4 airbase following the interception of an alleged Iranian drone. In response, an Israeli F-16 fighter was shot down by Syrian air defenses.

    "We see that the Syrian army continues its attack on the position of terrorists," the Syrian military analyst said. "It is clear that there is also a struggle with the Americans — in one form or another — who support the militants."

    As for the US troops' withdrawal from Syria, the general noted that the Syrians expect that the Americans will leave Syria within the next six months.

    "Now Washington is trying to drag Europeans into the Syrian crisis, and then to attribute the defeat to them," Brig. Gen. Mulhem opined. "We will force the invaders to withdraw from Syria through negotiations in Astana and Geneva or by the use of arms."

    The views and opinions expressed by Muhammed Mulhem are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Topic:
    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

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    Tags:
    chemical weapons, attack, airstrike, F-15, F-16 fighter jet, Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF), Israeli Air Force, Donald Trump, Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Israel, Syria, United States, Russia, Homs, Lebanon
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