Russia condemns ‘Israeli’ air strikes on Syria

Israeli minister appears to confirm overnight raid, which reportedly killed Iranian and Hezbollah fighters

A photo taken from the rebel-held town of Douma shows flames rising in the distance which are believed to be coming from Damascus International Airport following an explosion early in the morning of April 27, 2017.(AFP PHOTO / Sameer Al-Doumy)

A photo taken from the rebel-held town of Douma shows flames rising in the distance which are believed to be coming from Damascus International Airport following an explosion early in the morning of April 27, 2017.(AFP PHOTO / Sameer Al-Doumy)

Russia has branded as “provocative” an alleged Israeli air strike on Syria late on Tuesday.

|AIWA! NO!|Reports from Syria said an arms depot in Qatifah, about 40km (25 miles) north-east of Damascus, was hit, injuring three soldiers.

Israel has not commented, but after the reported strikes it said it had fired at a Syrian anti-aircraft missile. It did not report any damage or injuries.

The Kremlin on Thursday called for restraint after Syria accused Israel of firing several missiles at a military position near Damascus airport.
“We continue to consider that all countries need to refrain from any kind of actions that lead to an increase in tension in this already restive region and call for respect of the sovereignty of Syria,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Israel has carried out dozens of strikes on Syria in recent years.

It says it is acting to thwart advanced weapons transfers from Iran to the Lebanese pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement and the strengthening of Iran’s military presence in Syria.

Israel considers Iran and Hezbollah to pose a particularly dangerous threat.

‘Launched from Lebanon’

The foreign ministry of Russia, a key Syrian ally, said it was “very concerned” by the alleged Israeli air strikes.

“The provocative actions of the Israeli air force… directly threatened two airliners,” it said.

The statement said the unidentified airliners “not from Russia, were preparing to land at the airports of Beirut and Damascus”.

The Syrian military said the attacks were carried out from within Lebanese air space. Syrian state news agency, Sana, said most of the missiles were intercepted.

Map showing Israel, Lebanon and Syria

Video footage posted on social media shows an object moving over Damascus. Then the sound of a loud explosion is heard, followed by a burst of artillery shelling.

Newsweek magazine quoted an unnamed US defence department source as saying several Hezbollah leaders had just boarded a flight to Iran and were injured in the strikes.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) later tweeted that its air defence systems had been “activated in response to an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria”.Skip Twitter post by @IDF

Israel Defense Forces@IDF

An IDF aerial defense system activated in response to an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria.

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