Israel Accused of Striking Syrian Targets Near Damascus

A view of bombed buildings in the Syrian town of Quneitra, on the border with Israel in the Golan Heights. (Hadas Parush/Flash90, File)

Syrian air defenses responded to an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting a site in the Qalamoun Mountains, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

Quoting a military source, SANA said that Israel launched airstrikes from the southeast of Lebanon’s capital Beirut “targeting some posts in the surroundings of Damascus and Homs.”

The statement added that Syrian air defenses “confronted the aggression missiles and shot down most of them, and the outcomes of the aggression are being verified.”

Israel declines to comment on foreign reports.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab was quoted by Lebanon’s MTV News as having asked Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Zeina Akar to file an “urgent complaint” against Israel, which violated Lebanon’s sovereignty, endangered the safety of civil aviation and directly threatened the lives of civilian passengers.”

Diab also stressed that “the Israeli enemy’s continued violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty constitutes a direct threat to U.N. Resolution 1701.”

Akar later condemned the airstrike, stating it “blatantly violated Lebanon’s airspace at low altitude, causing a state of panic among citizens.” Akar also called on the U.N. to stop Israel from using Lebanese airspace for attacks on Syria.

During the air strike, a plane belonging to Lebanese carrier Middle East Airlines coming from Abu Dhabi had to hold in Syrian airspace for about 10 minutes before landing in Beirut, as did a plane from Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, said Fadi Alhassan, acting general manager for Lebanon’s civil aviation authority.

The strike was the second in two days after Israel was accused by Syria of having struck a military outpost near Quneitra late on Tuesday night.

The state-run SANA news agency said that two missiles were fired in the strike “west of the town of Hadar in the northern Quneitra countryside.”

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