The US military strike on a Syrian airbase has caused several deaths, said the governor of Homs province where the Shayrat base is located.
“There are martyrs, but we don’t yet know the number either of martyrs or of wounded,” Talal Barazi told AFP by telephone. He said parts of the base were on fire and some of the wounded were suffering from burns. “It will take some time to determine the extent of the damages,” he said.
“Of course we condemn this, all action targeting Syrian military bases is condemnable,” Barazi said. He said the forces present at the base “provide important support” in the battle against ISIS in the Palmyra region, home to a famed desert city that Syrian troops recaptured from militants last month.
However, soon after Barazi appeared to be contradicting himself while giving updates to another news agency. Talal Barazi told Reuters that the US missile strike on the air is not believed to have caused “big human casualties” but has caused material damage.
“I believe - God willing - that the human casualties are not big, but there is material damage. We hope there are not many victims and martyrs,” he told Reuters by telephone. Speaking at dawn, he said rescue and fire-fighting operations had been going on for two hours at the base.