Russian Federation invites Israel envoy to talk about Syria

Syria Reuters

USA forces a year ago fired a volley of cruise missiles at the government's Shayrat air base in retaliation for another suspected chemical attack in April 2017.

Syria's state news agency SANA initially said the attack on the T4 air base was likely "an American aggression", but Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood quickly denied the United States was behind the strike and the agency then dropped the accusation, blaming Israel instead.

Syrian Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations regarding the recent Israeli air attack against the Syrian military base in Homs province from Lebanese airspace.

Israeli sources say 12 of the dead have been identified as Hamas terrorists, and that armed terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip have used the riots as cover to attempt terror attacks on Israeli forces.

Russia's army said a pair of Israeli F-15s had fired eight missiles at the base.

When asked earlier about the explosions from the air base, an Israeli spokeswoman declined to comment.

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A Syrian military official also says Israel was behind the attack.

Israel and Russian Federation have held routine coordination talks since Moscow started to send forces to fight along Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Army in the war-torn country.

Israel said its strikes were launched after an Iranian drone launched from T-4 crossed into Israeli airspace.

Russian Federation and the Syrian Government say Israeli planes launched missile strikes which hit a regime airfield near the city of Homs. The Pentagon denied USA war planes were carrying out any air strikes in Syria at the present time.

"However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable".

The Ministry played down the move, saying that "routine talks with the Russians were being held regularly".

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Several buses of detainees arrived in Damascus overnight after having been freed by Jaish al-Islam, and rebels were being evacuated in a parallel operation on Monday, SANA said.

The early-morning strike killed 14 fighters, including Iranian forces allied to the regime, a monitoring group said.

Reuters could not independently verify the report. Both Syrian authorities and Russian Federation and Iran have denied use of banned weapons in Duma bombings.

Mr Macron said in February "France will strike" in the event of lethal chemical weapon attack on civilians by regime forces in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. He said there would be a "big price to pay" for the poison attack.

Syria denied it had launched any such attack, a denial which was backed by its ally Russian Federation.

The U.N. Security Council planned to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the chemical attack.

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