May 24, 2018 / 6:51 PM / 3 months ago

Syrian air defence intercepts missile attack on airport - state media

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian state media said a military airport near Homs city had come under missile attack which was repelled by its air defence systems on Thursday.

“One of our military airports in the central region was exposed to a hostile missile attack, and our air defence systems confronted the attack and prevented it from achieving its aim,” state news agency SANA said.

SANA earlier reported sounds of explosions heard near the Dabaa airport, about 20 km (12 miles) southwest of the central Syrian city of Homs and 10 km (6 miles) from the Lebanese border.

Syrian state media did not comment on the origin of the missile attack.

Israel, which fears Iran and Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah are turning Syria into a new front against it, has struck targets in the country many times during the war, hitting the Syrian army, Hezbollah and what it has characterized as Iran-backed positions.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment.

Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops belonging to Hezbollah and other militias allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are stationed in the Dabaa military airport. It had no information on casualties.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner, when asked about reports of the attack, said the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria did not carry it out and the coalition does not target Syrian government positions.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington in Beirut; Additional reporting by Dan Wiliams in Jerusalem and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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