Photo taken on April 17, 2018 shows suspected air defense missile at southern Damascus, Syria. Syrian air defenses responded to a missile strike, believed to be carried out by Israel, that targeted two airbases in Syria after midnight Tuesday, according to the War Media, the media wing of the Syrian army. (Xinhua/Zheng Yihan)
DAMASCUS, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Syrian air defenses intercepted several missiles targeting two airbases in Syria after midnight Tuesday, in the wake of a U.S.-British-French missile strike in the capital Damascus and in the central province of Homs last Saturday.
The latest attacks came in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Douma, a suburb outside of Damascus, on April 7.
Most of the six missiles, targeting the Shayrat airbase in Homs, were intercepted by the Syrian air defenses, said the War Media, the media wing of the Syrian army.
Three other missiles, targeting the Dumair airbase in the Dumair area in the eastern Qalamoun region north of Damascus, were all intercepted before reaching their targets, according to the report.
Pan Arab al-Mayadeen TV said the targeting of the Dumair airbase comes a day before a deal to be reached for the evacuation of rebels from that area.
Syrian state television aired images of missiles targeted Shayrat airbase being shot down over the areas of Homs. Yet it did not clarify who launched the strike.
ISRAEL LIKELY BEHIND ATTACK
There are speculations that Israel is more likely to be behind the overnight military attack, after the Pentagon denied carrying out operations on the aforementioned airbases, according to Syrian state news agency SANA.
The Syrian government forces told the Al-Masdar news portal that the airstrike on the Shayrat airbase could be fired from the Israeli territory.
There has been no comment from the Israeli military on the issue so far.
The Israeli warplanes fired missiles on the T-4 airbase in the eastern countryside of Homs on April 9, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
No country has yet claimed the attack after midnight. Yet the U.S. officials earlier said Washington wasn't planning another strike after the missile attack on Saturday.
The Shayrat airbase was hit by a U.S. missile strike in April 2017, over similar allegations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army in Idlib province in the same year.
INSPECTION TO ATTACK SITE TO BE ARRANGED
The Russian military said it would help protect international chemical weapons inspectors on their visit to Douma over the alleged chemical attack, according to Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian Center for Peace and Reconciliation in Syria.
Eariler on Monday, the United States accused Russia of preventing international inspectors from entering the attack site. While calling for "an objective investigation," Moscow disavowed the accusation and blamed the delays on the U.S.-led missile strike on Syria on Saturday.
(Hummam Sheikh Ali in Damascus also contributed to the report.)
MOSCOW, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The real targets of the U.S.-British-French missile strikes on Saturday were Syrian military facilities, including airfields, in addition to three targets announced by the United States and its allies, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said on Saturday that the attack had three targets in Syria -- a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area, a chemical weapon storage facility west of Holmes and a facility near the second one. Full story