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Syrian air defenses repel missile attacks on airbases in Damascus, Homs

In this file photo released by the US Department of Defense the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey fires a Tomahawk land attack missile on April 14, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Syrian air defenses have shot down missile attacks on the Shayrat airbase in the central province of Homs and the Dumair military airport in Damascus.

According to Syria's official SANA news agency early on Tuesday, all the missiles were intercepted before they could reach their target in Homs.

"Syrian air defense shot down missiles that entered its airspace over Homs," said the report.

Lebanon's Al Mayadeen broadcaster also reported that Syrian air defenses had intercepted three missiles aimed at Dumair military airport north east of Damascus.

The source of the missiles is still unknown.

The US and Israel have denied being behind that attack.

"There is no US military activity in that area at this time," Eric Pahond, a Pentagon spokesman said. "We do not have additional details to provide."

An Israeli spokesman also said that "I'm not aware of such an incident."

Shayrat airbase was targeted last year in a US cruise missile attack in response to an alleged chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including children on the militant held town of Khan Shaykhun.

The US claimed that its investigations showed the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged chemical attack. Using the incident as a pretext, US warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea at Shayrat airfield in Syria’s central province of Homs on April 7. US officials claimed that the suspected Khan Shaykhun gas attack had been launched from the military site.

The attacks come about a week after another military base came under a missile attack in the countryside of the western city of Homs. The missiles then reportedly flew over the Lebanese airspace before reaching Syria.

They also come a few days after, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical attack against Douma. Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the suspected assault.

The Syrian government has strongly denied the allegation, calling on Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a fact-finding mission for investigations.

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