American officials say Israel informed the US of its plans to strike a Syrian airbase days after a chemical weapon attack left dozens of civilians dead in a rebel-held city east of Damascus.
Speaking with NBC News, two US officials confirmed Monday afternoon that the Israeli Air Force was behind the pre-dawn airstrike, which targeted the Syrian military’s T-4 airbase in central Syria.
The strike, which Russian officials claimed involved two Israeli F-15 fighter jets, killed 14 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, including two ‘foreign nationals’ – a likely reference to Iranian military personnel.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the attack on the Syrian base.
The attack comes just days after a sarin nerve gas attack in the city of Douma, east of Damascus, that killed dozens of civilians.
Some estimates placed the total number of dead at 150, while other reports range from 60 to 80 dead.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump warned the Syrian government it would pay a “big price” for the suspected chemical weapons attack.
“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,” tweeted Trump.
President Trump also condemned the Iranian regime and the Putin government for their support of the Assad regime.
Israeli forces bombed targets in and around Syria’s T-4 airbase two months ago, after an Iranian drone controlled from the base entered Israeli airspace.
The incident prompted an Israel reprisal on the base, during which an IAF F-16I was shot down.
Russian officials blamed Israel for the strike on T-4, calling the attack a “cause for concern”.