Israel Attacks Major Air Base in Syria’s Homs, Two Killed

Russia has expanded base in recent years

Syrian air defenses were active Sunday, intercepting Israeli missiles during an attack on the major Shayrat air base in the central city of Homs.

Details are still emerging, but at least two soldiers were killed and three more wounded. Israel, as usual, declined comment on the incident.

Israel has been attacking Syria with increasing frequency in recent weeks. Many strikes were in Damascus. Air defenses intercepted some strikes, but considerable damage was inflicted.

Russia has put Shayrat base through major expansions in the past three years. There were unconfirmed claims of Iran’s Air Force using the site.

An Iranian presence would be a pretext for Israeli attacks. Israel is always interested in going after Iranian targets throughout the region.

At the same time, Russia has cautioned Israel against attacks on Russia-related targets in Syria, and Israel has been afraid of going too far and having Russia directly intervene to stop them.

The recent escalations, however, coming as Russia is getting more deeply involved in Ukraine, may suggest that Israel believes Russia is too busy to intervene, and is testing its limits with more and more strikes.

Israel’s latest elections may also portend further attacks, as Benjamin Netanyahu, a decisive winner, has long been an advocate of aggressive military action.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.