Reports: Iranian Officers Said Killed in Attack on Syria Arms Warehouse

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, being deployed to launch strikes as part of the multinational response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, is refueled by a KC-135 tanker aircraft over an undisclosed location, April 14. (U.S. Air Force/Handout via Reuters)

There were numerous dead in an apparent air attack on an air base in northern Syria Saturday night – among them several Iranian officers, Arab media reports said Sunday. According to the reports, the attack targeted a large weapons and ammunition warehouse at Jebel Azan, outside Aleppo. The media reports said that several unidentified fighter planes were seen in the air above the base right before a large explosion in the warehouse.

The media reports were contrasted with denials of the attack by supporters of the Syrian government. Lebanese media outlets associated with Hezbollah said that the explosions were the result of an “internal accident,” and that no one had been killed, as personnel had been evacuated in anticipation of an attack by Western powers on Syrian military targets – an attack that materialized earlier Saturday morning, when over 100 missiles were fired at targets in Syria by U.S., British and French forces.

The planes that carried out the attack were not identified, the reports said, although several Syrian media outlets attributed the attack to Israel. Last week, according to reports, two Israeli warplanes attacked the T-4 base outside the city of Homs and fired eight missiles. Three of the missiles hit targets in the base, while, according to Syrian claims, its forces destroyed the other five missiles before they exploded. Fourteen people were killed in the attack. Syrian media reports Monday said that four of those killed were Iranians, and two of the dead – one Iranian and one Syrian – were top members of the military establishments of both countries.

In a message Motzoei Shabbos, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed support for the strike by Western powers against targets in Syria earlier in the day. “The United States, France and Britain proved their commitment to fight chemical warfare is not limited to just declarations. It must be clear to Syrian President Bashar Assad that his unending efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, his ignoring of international law, and his willingness to let Iran and its agents establish a presence in Syria, are endangering his country.”