Tags: Syria | Airstrikes | Israel | Damascus | Sanctions

Syria Urges UN to Sanction Israel After Airstrikes Near Damascus

Monday, 08 Dec 2014 06:42 AM

Syria urged the United Nations to impose "deterring sanctions" on Israel after blaming it for two airstrikes near Damascus.

Israel declined to comment on reports it attacked military facilities and a weapons storage site yesterday, while insisting it has the right to block arms shipments to Lebanon's Hezbollah militia. Syria has accused the Israeli air force of striking arms depots and convoys on its territory at least six times over the past two years, most recently in February.

The Syrian government sent letters to the UN Secretary General and Security Council accusing Israel of carrying out the airstrikes "in the framework of extending help and support to the armed terrorist groups in Syria," according to the country's official Sana news agency.

"The attack also aims at covering up the internal disputes in Israel through diverting the attention away from the collapse of the Israeli coalition government," the letter read, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision last week to call early elections. It didn't specify what sanctions it sought.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem said at a news conference in Tehran today that Israel attacked to "boost the morale of the terrorists" after rebels suffered setbacks in Syria.

The reported airstrikes come amid a shift in developments in almost four years of fighting in Syria. A U.S.-led coalition is bombing Islamic State rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, directing the focus away from toppling the Syrian leader, who is backed by Hezbollah forces that warred with Israel in 2006.

Israel, as is its practice, had no comment on whether it attacked targets in Syria.

"There's no reaction, we don't confirm, we don't deny," Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio today. "We just remind everyone that we have a very proactive security policy to defend Israel's security and prevent, whenever possible, advanced weaponry getting to terrorist groups," Steinitz said.

Before the strike was reported, Netanyahu told his cabinet that Israel was "attentively" monitoring developments in the region and "will deal with these unremitting threats and challenges" with "the same responsibility we've dealt with them until now."

Sana said Israeli aircraft bombed unspecified targets near Damascus airport and Dimas, west of Syria's capital. No casualties were reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group that tracks Syria's civil war, said about 10 explosions from unknown causes were heard yesterday on the outskirts of Damascus. The airstrikes hit an export-import storage site near Damascus airport where weapons were being warehoused, and military locations near Dimas, the group said.

Israeli planes also flew over Lebanon several times yesterday. Syria launched two surface-to-air missiles against Israeli aircraft, Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV reported, citing unidentified people.

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MiddleEast
Syria urged the United Nations to impose deterring sanctions on Israel after blaming it for two airstrikes near Damascus.
Syria, Airstrikes, Israel, Damascus, Sanctions
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2014-42-08
Monday, 08 Dec 2014 06:42 AM
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