JERUSALEM, ISRAEL — The Pentagon denied US involvement in an attack on a missile base Monday in central Syria that killed 14 people. A London-based Syrian human rights group reports a number of the dead were Iranians. The Syrian state news service initially blamed the US for the attack, but it later retracted the charge.
The strike on the base near the ancient city of Palmyra came less than two days after reports of a Syrian chlorine gas attack Saturday by the government of President Bashar Assad that killed more than 40 people, including families in their homes.
According to the London-based war monitoring group, Syrians for Human Rights, most of the dead were members of the Iranian military or of groups backed by Iran.
Al-Manar TV in Lebanon, connected with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, called the strike "Israeli aggression." An Israeli spokeswoman refused to comment. The Jerusalem Post reports the T-4 base that was attacked is the same base from which Israel claims Iran launched a drone in February that was shot down over northern Israel.
Israeli media outlets over the past two weeks have published a number of articles speculating on war preparations between Israel and Iran or Iranian proxies.
In the denial of US involvement in Monday's attack, Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Sherwood said in a statement, "We continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable."
The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the chemical attack on Syrian citizens.