By Erin Viner
Two servicemen were killed and three others injured in yesterday’s strike, said the SAF.
A short video of the “aggression” was aired by Syrian state media, reporting that material damage had been sustained but without elaborating.
According to a Syrian military official source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, the strikes had targeted a runway at the large air base that is located. The runway, underground facilities and aircraft shelters have been renovated in a major expansion by the Russian army over the past three years, added the source.
Security officials say that Russia, a key backer of Syrian President Assad and its intervention alongside Iran helped turn the tide in favor of the regime in an over a decade of civil war.Russia, which maintains a major military presence in Syria to help President Bashar al Assad win his battle against insurgents, uses Shayrat and has forces stationed nearby.
Iran has deployed thousands of its Shi’ite militias and claims – despite clear evidence to the contrary – that its ‘military presence’ in the Arab Republic is restricted to a limited number of ‘advisors.’
Opposition military sources say Iranian proxies exercise powerful influence over large areas of the western Homs Province near the Lebanese border, as well as the east where they have established many bases.
The Israeli Defense Forces have declined to comment on the strike.
Regional and intelligence sources say Israel has in recent months intensified strikes on Syrian airports and air bases to disrupt Iran’s increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to allies in Syria and Lebanon.
Just last week, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen television channel blamed Israel for a strike on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq on a tanker truck convoy that both Damascus and Baghdad security and border officials said were transporting Iranian fuel.
Israel has acknowledged mounting hundreds of attacks on Iranian-linked targets in Syria where the Islamic Republic’s forces and proxy terror groups including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have become entrenched in deployments aimed at attacking Israel for the last decade.
While the Jewish State rarely confirms such missions, the country’s political and defense leaders have repeatedly stated that Iran’s presence just over the northern frontier will not be tolerated.