Syrian state media reported on Tuesday of a false alarm that triggered Syria’s anti-aircraft defense system. Initially, state media reported that Syria successfully shot down missiles fired at the Shayrat air base, located in the Homs province, according to state television.
According to Reuters, a military commander fighting on behalf the Syrian regime blamed the false alarm on “a joint electronic attack” by the United States and Israel. As a result of the alleged attack, Syria’s air defense system was supposedly triggered.
An official from the Pentagon stressed earlier that the US was not engaged in any military activity at the time. As per the norm, an Israeli military spokesman refused to confirm or deny any responsibility, saying “we don’t comment on such reports.” In a similar vein, Israel abstained from confirming or denying responsibility for airstrikes over a week ago on another Syrian airbase nearby.
The Shayrat airbase was targeted with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles by US President Donald Trump in April of last year in response to another chemical weapons attack.
Monday’s “false alarm” follows reported concerns expressed by Israeli officials that Russia may help further solidify Syria’s air defense system in response to the tripartite strike by the United States, United Kingdom and France on a Syrian airbase last Friday.
Most recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the BBC in an interview that Moscow is thinking of deploying the S-300 missile defense system to Syria despite Israel’s concerns.
“A few years ago at the request of our partners, we decided not to supply S-300s to Syria,” he said. “Now that this outrageous act of aggression was undertaken by the US, France and UK, we might think how to make sure that the Syrian state is protected.”