Israeli aircraft bombed sites near Damascus in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, Syrian state media reported, a move that Moscow, a close ally of the regime in Syria, described as a “gross violation of sovereignty.”
The Israeli army claimed to have protected itself from anti-aircraft missile fire from Syria.
On Tuesday night, the Syrian army’s anti-aircraft defense took action against “missiles” fired by “Israeli military aviation” on targets near Damascus, the official Syrian news agency reported. military who reported three wounded soldiers.
The “majority” of these missiles were intercepted before reaching their targets, the agency said, saying Israeli fighter jets had fired from Lebanese airspace. An ammunition warehouse has suffered “damage”, according to Sana.
According to the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), the three targets targeted by the “Israeli raid” are in fact “weapons warehouses (…) belonging to the (Lebanese Shiite movement) Hezbollah or to the Iranian forces “that help the regime of Bashar al-Assad, just like Russia.
The targets would be in the areas of Dimas, Kesswa, or Jamraya, areas west and south-west of Damascus where Israeli raids have been reported in the past.
In late November, the Syrian regime accused Israel of bombing targets in the Kesswa area.
– “Violation” of sovereignty –
On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hammered again that Israel was “not prepared to accept Iran’s roots in Syria”. “We will continue to act vigorously,” he added without making direct reference to the incidents of the night.
Since 2011, Israel has carried out several strikes against the military installations of the Syrian regime, Iran and Hezbollah, its great enemies.
In two letters to the United Nations on Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry considered “Israeli aggression” as part of “Israel’s attempts to prolong the crisis in Syria”, at war since 2011, the agency said. Sana.
Russia has denounced a “gross violation of sovereignty” of Syria, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moscow called the strikes “provocative”.
Russia and Lebanon have also accused the Jewish state of endangering airliners whose passage coincided with the Israeli raid.
The attack “occurred when two airliners, which were not from Russia, were preparing to land at the airports of Beirut (Lebanon) and Damascus (Syria),” the spokesman said. speech of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konachenkov.
– “Prevent a tragedy” –
“In order to prevent a tragedy,” restrictions on the use of air defense systems were imposed on Syrian government forces, which allowed air traffic controllers in Damascus to redirect one of the planes to the Russian Air Base. Hmeimim (north-west), assured Mr. Konachenkov.
The Lebanese authorities confirmed the incident and denounced the Israeli incursion into Lebanese airspace.
Foreign Minister Gebrane Bassil has asked Lebanese ambassador to the UN, Amal Mudallali, to appeal to the Security Council regarding “the dangerous Israeli violations that endangered civil aviation and could have caused disaster major, “he said in a statement.
In September, a Russian military plane was accidentally shot down by the Syrian anti-aircraft defense, which came into action to block Israeli gunfire.
The incident caused the death of the 15 Russian soldiers on board the aircraft and caused tensions between Russia and Israel.
For its part, the Israeli army was limited to indicate on Tuesday on Twitter that its air defense system was “triggered against an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria”. “No damage or victim has been reported,” she said.
Contacted by AFP, an army spokeswoman refused to comment on the case.
If Israel’s responsibility were confirmed, it would be the first strikes since US President Donald Trump announced last week the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
Israel is considered by experts as one of the big losers of the American disengagement, which would leave more free space for Iran and its partners to develop their military capabilities in Syria.