US denies role in missile strike on Syrian Air Base

DAMASCUS: A missile attack on a Syrian military airport left several dead and wounded, state media said Monday, after the US warned Damascus and its allies over an earlier suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town.

Pentagon has however denied conducting the air strikes on the Tayfur air base in the central province of Homs. “At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” a Pentagon spokesman said. “However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”

“Several missiles hit the Tayfur airport. Our air defence systems are blocking the missile attack,” state news agency SANA said early Monday. It later added that there were “dead and wounded” in the strike, without giving exact casualty numbers. The missile attack came shortly after US President Donald Trump issued a stark warning over an apparent “chemical” attack in Douma, the last rebel-controlled town in an eastern suburb of Damascus.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless chemical attack in Syria”, Trump wrote on Twitter, lashing out at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, a key ally of the regime. “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay,” he said. His comments came exactly a year and a day after the US fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation for a deadly sarin gas attack in 2017.