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Syria shoots down missiles over Homs, state TV reports Open in fullscreen

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Syria shoots down missiles over Homs, state TV reports

Homs has been left in ruins after years of war [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 April, 2018

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Two missiles were shot down by Syrian air defences over the central Homs region, state-run TV said, days after Western strikes were launched against Assad's regime.
Two missiles were shot down by the Assad regime's air defences over the central Homs region on Tuesday, according to Syria’s state-run television.

It didn't say who carried out the early morning airstrikes. Syrian Central Media, which described the incidents as confrontation of a new "aggression", said the missiles targeted Shayrat air base in Homs. Another strike earlier this month in Homs was blamed on Israel, which has neither confirmed or denied its involvement.

The report comes a few days after the US, Britain and France conducted airstrikes targeting alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on Douma, which they blamed on the brutal Syrian regime.

A Pentagon spokesman said there was no US military activity in that area at this time.

Asked about the missile attack, an Israeli military spokesman told Reuters: "We don't comment on such reports."

The report comes a few days after the US, Britain and France conducted airstrikes targeting alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on Douma, which they blamed on the brutal Syrian regime.

Experts from the international chemical weapons watchdog are in Syria and are expected to visit the site on Wednesday, after Syrian and Russian authorities prevented them from going to the scene on Monday, citing "security" reasons.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that France persuaded US President Donald Trump to stay in Syria and launch airstrikes as punishment for the alleged chemical weapons attack.

Appearing in a two-hour live broadcast on French television BFM and online investigative site Mediapart, the 40-year-old leader said the US, Britain and France had "full international legitimacy to intervene" in order to enforce international humanitarian law.

The Western allies fired missiles early on Saturday at three chemical weapons facilities in Syria to punish the regime after dozens of people were reported suffocated to death by a poisonous gas attack.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. 

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

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