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Suspected Israeli strike kills three Iran-backed fighters in Syria's Homs

Four missiles hit the T4 base in Homs province. [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 January, 2020

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Both Iranian forces and Russian military advisers were stationed at the base, which has been hit by Israeli forces in the past.

A missile strike on a Syrian airbase that Damascus blamed on Israel killed at least three Iran-backed militiamen, a monitor said on Wednesday. 

Four missiles hit the T4 base in Homs province, north of the capital, at around 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Tuesday, state news agency SANA reported, blaming the attack on Israel.

It said the strike caused damage but no casualties.

But the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least three Iran-backed militiamen were killed.

Read more: Syria Weekly: Iran controls the ground, Israel dominates the skies

It said the strike damaged an Iranian arms depot, two military vehicles and a building still under construction. 

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said the dead were all non-Syrians, adding that Israel was likely behind the attack.

He said both Iranian forces and Russian military advisers were stationed at the base, which has been hit by Israeli forces in the past.

An Israeli army spokeswoman made no comment when contacted by AFP.

Last week, an air strike attributed to Israel on eastern Syria killed eight fighters of Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary force, local media reported.

The overnight missile strike adds to the growing tension in the Middle East after a US drone killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a targeted strike in Baghdad on 3 January.

Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Israel has carried out many raids against forces of the Syrian government and its allies, Iran and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Israel insists it will not allow Syria to become a bridgehead for Iranian intervention in the region.

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