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T-4 Airbase / Tiyas

The Tiyas Military Airbase, also known as the T-4 Airbase, is the largest airbase in Syria. The Tiyas Military Airbase is a Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) base located in the Homs Governorate, north of Tiyas, and west of the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria. T4, sharing its name with the nearby pumping station, is more commonly (yet incorrectly) known as Tiyas and various other names, such as Tayfour or Althias. On 14 May 2016 ISIS attacked the T4 (Tiyas) Airbase, located in central Syria. The military airbase has been used by Russian forces and according to the latest news the blitz wiped out an entire Russian helicopter unit.

In the early hours of April 9, two F-15 Air Force warplanes carried out a missile strike on the T-4 air base in Syria, while being in the Lebanese airspace. SANA news agency reported that the Syrian air defenses confronted a missile attack on T-4 airport and shot down eight missiles. It quoted a military source as saying that the missiles were fired from the Lebanese airspace by Israeli F-15 fighter jets. The attack left a number of martyrs and injured, the source added.

For its part, Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that it had been two Israeli warplanes that had attacked the airbase in Homs province. “On April 9, from 03:25 to 03:53 Moscow time, two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets, carried out an airstrike by two guided missiles on the T-4 airfield from the Lebanese territory and without entering Syria’s airspace.” According to the Russian military, the strikes were carried out from Lebanese airspace.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, three missiles reached the western part of the airfield, resulting in the death of 14 people, including 7 Iranian soldiers. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has condemned the Israeli attack, calling it an "aggression and violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, which contradicts all international laws and norms." According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian military servicemen stationed at the base were not affected by the attack.

Iran may in some form retaliate to Israel's 09 April 2018 attack on the Syrian T-4 airfield, former Iranian military correspondent Hassan Shemshadi opined in an interview with Sputnik 11 April 2018. The journalist noted that it is still unclear whether Iranian military advisers deployed at the airbase were Israel's primary target. Any attack that poses a threat to the security of Iran should receive a worthy rebuff, Hassan Shemshadi, a former Iranian radio and television military correspondent in Syria and Iraq with close links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), told Sputnik Persian, commenting on the April 9 airstrike on the Syrian T-4 airbase by the Israeli Air Force, which resulted in the death of seven Iranian servicemen.

"Israel decided to take advantage of the current situation," Shemshadi said. "On the one hand, Syrian government forces are gaining victory over terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, on the other hand, the scandal over the [alleged] chemical attack and the possible military operation [in Syria] of the US and its allies (the UK and France) is simmering in the UN." The journalist pointed out that "Israel invaded Syria's airspace." He elaborated that this time, Israel attacked Syria through the territory of a "third party" — Lebanon. "The Israelis pursued several goals while attacking the T-4 airbase," Shemshadi opined. "One of them was to wreak revenge on the Syrian [Arab] Army for downing an F-16 fighter in February 2018. This was the first time that the Syrian air defense system has managed to cause serious damage to Israeli fighter jets."

Another key element of the Israeli attack on the T-4 airfield is that the Lebanese air defense system remained silent and allowed foreign fighters to cross its airspace, Shemshadi noted, adding that regardless of its influence, Hezbollah doesn't control all the strategic and military matters in the country.

The journalist emphasized that undoubtedly the incursion of Israeli warplanes in Lebanese airspace amount to a violation of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, although the issue is currently being discussed in the UN Security Council, neither the US, nor the UK or France will vote against Tel Aviv as they "always turn a blind eye to its criminal actions."

Tiyas Air Base
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Overview of the Tiyas Air Base, 27 April 1987

Close up of the Tiyas Air Base, 27 April 1987

Overview of the Tiyas Air Base
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Post-Strike Imagery, 09 April 2018

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Page last modified: 15-04-2018 19:32:20 ZULU