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Israeli aerial attacks in Syria only escalate tensions in region: Top Russian official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A picture taken early on January 21, 2019 shows Syrian air defense batteries responding to Israeli missiles targeting Damascus. (Photo by AFP)

A senior Russian official has strongly condemned recurring Israeli airstrikes inside Syrian territory, emphasizing that such acts of aggression by the Tel Aviv regime only exacerbate tensions and destabilize the situation in the region.

“We are concerned over Israel’s continued practice of delivering unilateral airstrikes on the Syrian territory in violation of the sovereignty of neighboring Arab nations,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

She added, “The latest such attack was carried out by Israeli warplanes on March 5 from Lebanon’s airspace. As a result, one Syrian soldier was killed and more than 10 were wounded.”

“We are convinced that such arbitrary military actions undermine regional stability and heighten tensions,” the Russian diplomat pointed out.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, quoting an unnamed military source as saying, reported early on March 5 that Syrian air defenses had intercepted Israeli missiles over strategic Quneitra province in the country’s southwest.

“At 00:30 on Thursday (2230 GMT Wednesday) our air defense monitored Israeli warplanes coming from northern occupied Palestine toward Saida, and several missiles were fired from Lebanese airspace toward the central area,” the source added.

The missiles were intercepted successfully, he pointed out.

The following day, Lebanon condemned incessant Israeli violations of its airspace, and filed a complaint at the UN Security Council over serious and numerous breaches of the Lebanese sovereignty and UNSC Resolution 1701.

Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Nassif Hitti discussed the latest developments in southern Lebanon as well as Beirut’s commitment to the resolution during a meeting with the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubitsch, on March 6.

Hitti then expressed his great resentment over violation of Lebanon’s airspace by the Israeli regime.

Israel violates Lebanon's airspace on an almost daily basis, claiming the flights serve surveillance purposes. 

Lebanon's government, the Hezbollah resistance movement and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have repeatedly condemned the overflights, saying they are in clear violation of UN Resolution 1701 and the country's sovereignty. 

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war of aggression Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006, calls on Tel Aviv to respect Beirut's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

In 2009, Lebanon filed a complaint with the United Nations, presenting over 7,000 documents pertaining to Israeli violations of Lebanese territory.

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