Pentagon denies Syrian media claims of US airstrikes in Syria

Speculation arose after an apparent chemical attack in Syria Saturday.

April 8, 2018, 11:41 PM

The Pentagon is denying claims by Syrian state television that the United States launched missile strikes against an air base in western Syria.

Syrian state television reported late Sunday night that there were explosions heard at the T4 air base outside of Homs and blamed the U.S. for the apparent attack.

Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, later reported that Syrian air defenses had shot down eight Tomahawk missiles.

Several U.S. officials initially said the press reports from Syria about a U.S. missile attack were false.

The Pentagon later issued an official statement denying the reports of airstrikes in Syria.

PHOTO: Smoke rising after Syrian government airstrikes hit in the town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta region east of Damascus, Syria, April. 7, 2018.
Smoke rising after Syrian government airstrikes hit in the town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta region east of Damascus, Syria, April. 7, 2018.
Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

"At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting airstrikes in Syria. However, 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," said the Pentagon statement.

A U.S. official told ABC News that the U.S. intelligence community is assessing the alleged chemical attack.

PHOTO: Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta, April 8, 2018.
Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta, April 8, 2018.
AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon's denial followed speculation that the U.S. was considering military action after reports of an apparent chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday that killed dozens of civilians.

Earlier on Sunday morning, President Donald Trump had tweeted that Syria would have a “big price to pay” for the alleged attack and labeled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an “animal.”

It was a year ago this week that Trump ordered Tomahawk missile strikes at a Syrian base in Syria days after a Sarin gas attack by the Assad regime that killed 100 civilians and injured hundreds more.

PHOTO: A rocket is seen launched by the Syrian army in Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, Syria, on April 7, 2018.
A rocket is seen launched by the Syrian army in Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, Syria, on April 7, 2018. The Syrian army on Saturday stormed the frontlines of the Islam Army in the Douma district of the capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta countryside, state news agency SANA reported.
Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua/Newscom
Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events