Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

G7 endorses US-led air strikes in Syria

G7 endorses US-led air strikes in Syria

State television even showed pictures of a missile it said was shot in the air above the air base.

The reports said the missiles had targeted Shayrat airbase in Homs province and Dumair military airport, northeast of Damascus, late on Monday night.

The Syrian news agency did not give further details and it was unclear who was behind the attack, which Syrian state television branded as an "aggression".

After Syrian TV reported that aerial defense forces shot down missiles that were headed toward an airbase, a senior Syrian Army officer denied the reports and blamed Israel for setting off the country's incoming missile sirens.

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The false report came just days after the US, France and Britain conducted a coordinated missile attack against Syrian government targets.

Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias have a large military presence in Syria and are well entrenched in central and eastern areas near the Iraqi border.

Another strike earlier this month in Homs was blamed on Israel.

Saturday's strike: The US, France and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes against Syrian government targets on Saturday in response to an purported chemical weapons attack by the government on civilians in Douma city near Damascus.

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The same air base was targeted by U.S. missiles in 2017, after it was suspected of being involved in a previous chemical attack that killed at least 70 people in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Syrian media is now attributing the incident to a false alarm, and not a missile strike from an unknown attacker.

On Monday, Syrian and Russian authorities prevented investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from going to the scene, the head of the group said, blocking global efforts to establish what happened and who was to blame.

Instead, Syrian authorities offered them 22 people to interview as witnesses, he said, adding that he hoped "all necessary arrangements will be allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible". Igor Kirillov, a Russian chemical weapons protection expert in The Hague, said the team is set to visit the site Wednesday.

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