01/31/2013, 00.00
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Moscow "concerned" about Israeli air raid on Syria

Tel Aviv air forces hit a military research center in the north-west of Damascus. At first there was talk of a Syrian military convoy, carrying missiles - Russian-made – bound for Lebanon and Hezbollah. Moscow: "unacceptable violation" of a sovereign State; Damascus act of "arrogance and aggression."

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Moscow has expressed "concern" about the controversial Israeli air raid in Syria, stressing that attacks of this nature are an "unacceptable violation" of the UN Charter. The Damascus army says that yesterday some in Tel Aviv jets targeted a military research centre in Jamraya, on the north-western outskirts of the Syrian capital; at the same time, it strongly denies the news - reported by Israeli media and U.S. officials - that the target was a convoy carrying weapons towards Lebanon. For experts the cargo consisted of Russian-made (SA-7)anti-aircraft missiles, to supply Hezbollah Shiite militants.

During the 22 months of civil war in Syria, which has killed about 60 thousand victims, Moscow has repeatedly refused to distance itself from President Bashar al-Assad. Commenting on the attack, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that "if the information is confirmed, it is an unprovoked attack" on "sovereign" territory. This is "a violation of the UN Charter" and is "unacceptable, nothing can justify it."

Tel Aviv sources report having informed Washington in advance of the raid, the Damascus government has branded it as an act of "arrogance and aggression." It could feed the winds of war throughout the Middle East, Iran has in fact repeatedly warned that an attack on Syrian territory will be treated the same way as a "direct attack" on its territory and Tehran says it is ready to respond.

The Israeli government has repeatedly spoken of its fears of arms trafficking - missiles and chemical weapons - between Damascus and Lebanon, destined for Hezbollah guerrillas. Confirming tensions, the Beirut army and the internal security forces have reported "major activities" by Tel Aviv jets in recent weeks, with a gradual escalation "in the last hours."


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