Seven Iranians killed in air strike on Syrian airport

IRAN (OBSERVATORY) –┬áSeven Iranian soldiers were killed in the bombing of a Syrian air base on Sunday, nearly double the number initially announced, the official Tasnim news agency reported.

The Syrian government and its ally Iran have accused Israel of launching an attack on the airport near Homs, something that Israel has not renounced or confirmed.

The bodies of the Iranians, who were described as military advisers, were flown to Iran and their funerals would be held later on Tuesday, the agency said. Earlier Iranian media reports said four soldiers were killed in the strike.

The attack came hours after US President Donald Trump threatened to “pay a heavy price” following reports of a poison gas attack in the Syrian-controlled city of Douma. The Syrian government denied involvement in the attack.

“It seems that the US government is looking for a pretext for military intervention,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif was quoted by state media as saying after arriving in Brazil early on Tuesday.

“Iran’s position on chemical weapons is clear and we condemn any use against any target.”

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been fighting for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years. More than 1,000 Iranians were killed in the Syrian civil war, including senior members of the Revolutionary Guards.