Israeli jets use Lebanese airspace to bomb Damascus airbase

Israeli jets use Lebanese airspace to bomb Damascus airbase
The Lebanese armed forces report the airstrikes were made from Lebanese airspace in order to bypass Russian air defences in the south of Syria.
2 min read
22 February, 2017
An Israeli F-15 jet fighter takes off from the Negev desert in December 2015 [AFP]
Israeli aircraft reportedly bombed a number of Syrian airbases near Damascus for the second time this year on Wednesday night.

The Israeli military has not officially commented on the reported airstrikes.

The Lebanese army has said Tel Aviv's jets used Lebanese airspace at around 3:00am [0100GMT] to launch the strikes, reported Al-Jadeed Lebanon.

One of the targets was a Hizballah arms convoy travelling with the Syrian army's 3rd division, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Lebanese media reported that the strike was launched from Lebanese airspace in order to bypass the Russian-made air defence systems in southern Syria.

Hizballah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, last week reiterated his organisation's opposition to Israel.

"Hizballah will have no red lines in the next war with Israel," he said.

"Israel should think a million times before it goes to war with Lebanon."

Lebanon's President Aoun spoke in support of Hizballah's arms stockpile in the country's south, saying it was "essential" for the country's defence.

"Hizballah weapons are not contradictory to the state, but are an essential part in defending the country," he said.

Syria issued a warning when Israel last struck an arms convoy on January 13 near Damascus airport, a short distance from President Assad's palatial residence.

"The Syrian armed forces warns the Israeli enemy of the repercussions of this blatant aggression, and insists on continuing the war on terrorism to eliminate it," a regime figure told the state news agency SANA.

There has been no comment from Damascus with regards to the latest airstrike.

Last year, the UN Security Council condemned Iran's arms shipments to Hizballah, saying they could have violated the country's nuclear agreement.

"The statement suggests that transfers of arms from Iran to Hizballah may have been undertaken contrary to resolution 2231 (2015)," said Under Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman.