Syria starts moving military aircraft, personnel back to Shayrat Airbase

Battle damage assessment image of Shayrat Airfield, Syria, is seen in this DigitalGlobe satellite image, released by the Pentagon following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes from Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, the USS Ross and USS Porter on April 7, 2017. DigitalGlobe/Courtesy U.S. Department of Defense/Handout via REUTERS

The Syrian military have started to move fighter jets and military personnel back to the Shayrat Airbase in Homs over a month after the United States carried out a strike against it, US media reported on Wednesday citing defense officials.

“They will be flying out of there again soon,” the NBC News channel reported, citing an unnamed defense official.

According to the sources, the Syrian government managed to repair some of the infrastructure of the airfield and already began moving the Su-22s and the MiG-23s back to the airfield.

On 6 April, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat airbase, with US President Donald Trump stating the missile attack was conducted in response to an alleged chemical attack on civilians in the Idlib province, which killed more than 80 people, including children.

Damascus has denied any involvement in the chemical attack, and the Syrian army said it did not have chemical weapons, as they were destroyed under the supervision of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) after the 2013 sarin gas incident in east Ghouta.