Iran threatens Israel over strike on Syria
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tel Aviv would face repercussions for the Israeli airstrike against a military research center in Jamraya, rural Damascus.
Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says Damascus has "the option and the surprise to retaliate." There were no details on when the retaliation would be, only saying that the relevant authorities would be tasked with preparing for it.
Secretary General of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby has condemned an airstrike on a scientific center in Damascus’s suburb, allegedly made by Israel.
Mr. Elarabi called this strike “a violation of a country’s sovereignty and an aggression” and said that “Israel was trying to take advantage of the instable situation in Syria”.
The air attack took place on Wednesday. However, some sources say that the attackers were aiming not at the scientific center, but at a group of militants who were trying to cross the Syrian-Lebanese border in order to deliver weapons to terrorists from the Hezbollah group in Lebanon.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement expressing deep concern over Israel's airstrike on Syria saying that it violates the UN Charter. Russian diplomats are taking urgent measures to clarify the situation and to establish the details of the incident.
If this information is confirmed that would mean that we have to deal with unprovoked attacks on the territory of a sovereign state which is inadmissible, whatever objectives are declared as a justification.
Russia has again called upon the international community to stop the violence in Syria, prevent foreign intervention in the conflict, and assist the start of a nationwide dialogue based on the Geneva agreements.
Israel launched an air attack on targets in Syria to avoid chemical weapons falling into the hands of militants.
There is no official information about the attacks; however, informal sources confirm that fact, correspondent of the Voice of Russia in Israel Eugeniy Ehrlich reports.
According to him, the Israeli airstrike at targets in Syria was a carefully planned operation.
The correspondent suggested that the attacks, most likely, were directed at two targets - a military research center near Damascus and a motorcade, carrying weapons to Lebanon – and aimed at not allowing chemical weapons fall into the hands of the militants.
He noted that Syria has achieved certain successes in the development of weapons of mass destruction, and to a great degree, chemical weapons.
It is known that the weapons are stored at military depots, and Israel has repeatedly warned, including its appeal to the UN Security Council, that something should be done in this situation.
Due to the fact that a civil war is underway in Syria, this weapon in any case would be in someone's hands.
It is not clear at all what will happen if the rebels seize this research center.
According to unofficial information, it has already been attacked by gunmen.
Therefore Israel decided to bomb the depots of chemical weapons or elements that can be used in its creation.
Earlier, Syrian mass media informed that two people were killed and another five were injured as a result of the air strike.
The Syrian, Lebanese and Jordanian military have raised the alert level in response to Israel’s alleged air strike on a Syrian territory, the Addiyar newspaper reports.
According to the paper, Syria has pulled more troops to the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, while the Lebanese Army has strengthened its southern outposts.
Jordan has deployed its forces on the Jordan River border with Israel.
Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah condemned on Thursday an Israeli attack which it said targeted a Syrian research centre, saying it was an attempt to thwart Arab military capabilities and pledging to stand by its ally President Bashar al-Assad.
"Hezbollah expresses its full solidarity with Syria's leadership, army and people," it said in a statement.
Sources said on Wednesday that Israeli jets bombed a convoy near Syria's border with Lebanon, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah. Syria denied the reports, saying the target had been a military research centre.
Israel reportedly warned the US of a planned air strike on a Syrian target, the New York Times has cited an American official as saying Thursday.
On Wednesday, Israeli warplanes allegedly bombed a scientific research center near Damascus, killing two people and wounding several more. The building sustained considerable damage.
Foreign media quoted a number of sources who claimed the real target of the Israeli air strike to be a convoy of trucks bound for the Syria-Lebanon border. The convoy was allegedly carrying “game-changing weapons” for the Lebanese Hezbollah.
The weapons in question are purportedly Russia-made SA-17 rocket launchers. Other reports said the trucks were loaded with SS-N-26 anti-ship cruise missiles, or even Scud ballistic missiles.
The Syrian military denied that a convoy had been struck, claiming the military research facility had been overrun by opposition rebels.
Moscow is checking information on an air strike by the Israeli Air Force on facilities in Syria and states that if such attacks continue that will be the violation of the UN Charter.
"Moscow is deeply concerned about the reports of an attack by Israel's Air Force on Syrian facilities near Damascus.
If this information proves true, then we deal with unsanctioned strikes on targets in the territory of a sovereign state, which is a blatant violation of the UN Charter and is unacceptable no matter what reasons are behind the attack," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on the ministry's official website on Thursday.
"We are taking urgent measures to clarify the situation in detail," the statement reads.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has again called to end "any violence in Syria, to prevent any external interference and to launch a pan-Syrian dialog on the basis of Geneva agreements dated June 30, 2012," it reads.
The United Nations Organization has no evidence of Israeli air strike against Syria, spokesman Eduardo Del Buey said.
He, however, admitted that UN peacekeepers headquartered in southern Lebanon noticed that Israeli air forces were on a heightened regime of alert.
On Wednesday Syria`s official media said that Israeli jets had carried out a direct strike on a scientific research centre outside Damascus, killing 2 people and injuring 5 more.
Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center in Damascus province at dawn on Wednesday, Syria's military command said, denying reports that the planes had struck a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon.
According to the agency, at dawn on January 30, Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace, with the jets bombing an army research center in the area of Jamraya, northwest of the capital which it described as one of a number of "scientific research centers aimed at raising the level of resistance and self-defense".
Two people were killed and five wounded.
"Israeli military aircraft violated our airspace at dawn and carried out precision attacks targeting the scientific research facility," – the agency quotes a statement of the supreme command of the Syrian armed forces.
The building was destroyed, the military command said in a statement carried by state media. Earlier, the center was targeted by armed opposition groups.
It said the planes crossed into Syria below the radar level, just north of Mount Hermon, and returned the same way.
Sources told Reuters earlier that Israeli jets had bombed a convoy on
The air attack carried out by Israel on a Syrian target has been confirmed by the United States. According to Washington, the strike did not target the research institute, but a convoy of trucks, allegedly carrying weapons.
Tel Aviv fears that Damascus may hand over chemical weapons or sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to the Islamist movement Hezbollah.
On the same day it became known that citizens of the Jewish state were stocking up on gas masks. The demand for them tripled at the end of January. Many Israelis believe that their country could face an assault with Syrian chemical weapons, RBC reports.
Voice of Russia, MFA website, RT, Fars news, Reuters, RBC, Interfax, TASS, Reuters