Strike on Syria air base kills 14, including Iranian forces: monitor

Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

Israel has struck Syrian army locations many times in the course of the conflict, hitting convoys and bases of Iranian-backed militias that fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al Assad's forces.

During a bitter clash at the Council, US permanent representative Nikki Haley said that the hands of the Russian "regime" were "covered in the blood of Syrian children" and warned that Washington would respond to the attacks even if the Council would not.

The early-morning strike on a Syrian regime air base in central Homs province has killed at least 14 fighters, including allied Iranian forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

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According to the Syrian news agency (SANA), the bombardment is targeted at the "T4" airbase in the Central Homs province exactly at 4am local time (01:00 GMT).

SANA said the attack resulted in a number of casualties. Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he added: "Everybody's going to pay a price - he will, everybody will".

A picture taken on April 8, 2018, shows Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta.

These reports could not be independently verified.

Syria and its main ally Russian Federation blamed Israel for carrying out an attack on a Syrian air base near Homs on Monday which followed reports of a poison gas attack by President Bashar al-Assad's forces on a rebel-held town. The gas attack was blamed on Assad.

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French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Trump by telephone and the two agreed that they would work together to establish clear responsibility for what Macron's office said they had agreed was a confirmed chemical attack. Although the agency said it was likely "an American aggression", USA officials said the United States had not launched any airstrikes on Syria. However gaining access to samples on the ground would be hard.

"British U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters ahead of the meeting that Britain "would prefer to start with a proper investigation", but all options were on the table and London was in close contact with its allies the United States and France".

The EU also said evidence pointed to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces.

United Nations war crimes investigators had previously documented 33 chemical attacks in Syria, attributing 27 to the Assad government, which has repeatedly denied using the weapons.

"Everything suggests that during the second attack, chlorine was used to hide the use of sarin at the same time", he said. It had been under the control of Islamic State militants until the Syrian army and its allies regained control previous year after heavy Russian military intervention.

Guterres's speical envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told the Council via a video link from Geneva that the terrorist group Jaish al-Islam that was in control of Douma had asked for United Nations intervention, but the Syrian government did not respond to it.

The attack came amid an global wrangling about the allegations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army in the attack on the rebels in Douma district.

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