A cyber attack targeting Syria’s military capabilities by US and Israeli forces caused a barrage of missiles to be erroneously fired by Syrian forces Monday night.
Late on Monday night, Syrian state media widely reported that they had “intercepted and shot down” missiles they thought were coming from Israeli aircraft:
Syrian anti-aircraft defences shot down missiles that hit the Syrian air base of Shayrat in Homs province late Monday night, Syrian state television said.
State television showed pictures of a missile that was shot in the air above the air base only days after a US, British and French attack on Syrian targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on the city of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus.
A Pentagon spokesman said there was no US military activity in that area at this time.
Shayrat airbase was targeted last year in a US cruise missile attack in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including children on the rebel held town of Khan Sheikhoun.
Israel has struck Syrian army locations many times in the course of the conflict, hitting convoys and bases of Iranian-backed militias that fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s forces.
Asked about the missile attack, an Israeli military spokesman said, “We don’t comment on such reports.”
However, Russian officials have revealed that Israel and the US conducted a joint “Electronic Communications Attack” on Syrian systems, making them believe they were under attack and causing them to launch multiple Air Defence missiles in retaliation:
According to the SANA news agency, a false alarm of an airspace violation triggered the launch of air defense sirens and several interceptor missiles in the early hours of Tuesday, but there was no external attack on Syria.
Furthermore, a source at the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport told Sputnik that the Israeli Air Force jets could not strike the base since they had not entered the Lebanese airspace at the time of the suspected strike.
“At 21:00-01:30 [local time] there was no Israeli aircraft in the airspace of Lebanon,” the source said.
Could it be that the cyber attack last night along with the U.S.-led strike last week is an intel gathering mission, to find out the exact location of Syrian and Russian defence systems in Syria? Maybe a much bigger attack is coming soon…