08/20/2021, 10.37
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New Israeli raids in Syria. Beirut slams violation of its airspace

Overnight Israeli fighters and missiles hit sensitive targets on the outskirts of Damascus and Homs. Syrian anti-aircraft defense system activated. There is no confirmation of casualties or material damage, no comment from Israel. Lebanese minister slams the use of airspace to attack Syria, in violation of UN resolutions.

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Late last night the Syrian anti-aircraft defense was activated to repel a new attack by "hostile elements" in the skies over Damascus, in the latest in a series of similar raids in the recent past by Israeli air force fighters.

"Around 23.03 local time - reads a note of the official Sana agency, which relaunches a military source - the Israeli enemy conducted an air aggression with missiles, coming from southeast of Beirut (Lebanon), targeting positions near Damascus and around Homs". "Our anti-aircraft defense," the statement concluded, "responded to the missiles and shot down the majority of them. 

In the official communication of the Syrian authorities there are no references to victims or material damage. The overflight of the Israeli fighter jets was clearly heard in the Lebanese capital and in different areas of country, where military vehicles and missiles have raised panic and concern among the civilian population. 

Lebanese Interim Defense Minister Zeina Akar condemned the attack, stressing that operations of this nature "blatantly violate Lebanon's airspace" with "low altitude" overflights that cause "fear among citizens." It, he adds, is also contrary to the resolution 1701 of the UN Security Council that governed the end of the war in Lebanon in 2006; hence the appeal, followed by a letter of complaint, to the UN to dissuade Israel from carrying out attacks in Syria using the airspace of the Land of the Cedars.

In the past, Israel has carried out numerous operations in Syria and Lebanon, thanks to the green disk received by the then US President Donald Trump, who during his four years in office has formed a strong alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In Syria alone, 50 operations against strategic targets were recorded in 2020, according to Israeli military sources. The situation does not seem to have changed under the new administration led by Democrat Joe Biden, who so far has tolerated - if not authorized - Israeli military operations across the border that in many cases also involve Lebanese territory. 

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (Sohr) "Israeli missiles have targeted weapons depots and Lebanese military positions of Hezbollah in the region of Qara, between the suburbs of Damascus and the south-western suburbs of Homs. Also for the NGO, based in the United Kingdom and a dense network of informants on the Syrian territory, there would be no deaths. Lebanese media add that two missiles fell in the Qalamoun region, in a border area.

Conversely, there are no official comments on the operation from the Israeli army. 

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