Syria Slams 'US Aggression' as Missiles Hit Air Base

Activists say strike killed at least 14
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2018 2:53 AM CDT
Syria Slams 'US Aggression' as Missiles Hit Air Base
This photo released by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows smoke rising after Syrian government airstrikes hit in the town of Douma.   (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

In what Syria's state-run news agency says was probably an act of "American aggression," missiles hit an air base in central Syria early Monday. Syrian activists say the strike killed at least 14 people, including Iranian citizens and fighters with Iran-backed groups, the AP reports. The US and France, which promised to deliver a "strong response" to an alleged chemical attack believed to have killed around 40 people in a rebel-held Syrian town, denied responsibility for the strike. The Pentagon said it is not currently conducting air strikes in Syria, but they "continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable."

Israel—which has hit Syrian targets numerous times before, including the bases of Iran-backed militias—declined to comment on the strike, which hit the T4 base in Homs province, reports Reuters. On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that there would be a "big price" to pay for the "mindless CHEMICAL attack." The BBC notes that it has been almost exactly a year since Trump launched cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield after the Assad regime used chemical weapons on civilians in another rebel-held town—but this time, Russia has warned of "dire consequences" if the US intervenes. Sen. John McCain tweeted Sunday that Trump's pledge to withdraw from Syria has "only emboldened Assad, backed by Russia & Iran, to commit more war crimes." (Read more Syria stories.)

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