Two US officials familiar with the matter told NBC news on the condition of anonymity on Monday that Israel had informed the United States about its intent to carry out a strike against the Syrian military base in the Homs province.
The Russian military said that two F-15 jets of the Israeli Air Force had conducted a strike against the T-4 military facility from Lebanese airspace. SANA reported that the attack resulted in the deaths and injuries of people at the base, but didn’t provide the exact number of the casualties.
The Russian Defense Ministry specified that Syrian air defenses had downed five out of eight missiles launched by the Israeli planes, while the three remaining reached the airfield. Israel declined to comment on the Russian defense ministry’s statement that the Israeli Air Force had been involved in the attack.
The alleged Israeli attack follows media reports accusing Damascus of waging a chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma that left dozens of people dead. Syrian officials cited by the SANA news agency said the allegations were merely a provocation by the Jaysh al-Islam terrorist group and other militants to prevent the advance of the Syrian government’s army.
Reuters reported the US government believes that a nerve agent may have been used in Duma on Saturday, but Washington has not yet conclusively determined that Syrian government forces carried out the attack after carrying out an initial assessment.
Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly stated in the recent months that chemical attacks staged by militants and accusations against the Syrian government of alleged chemical weapons use were designed to stop the government's anti-terror operations.
In March, the Syrian army said it had found a workshop for manufacturing chemical weapons in an Eastern Ghouta village left by the militants. Damascus warned that militants were preparing provocations with the use of toxic agents.