Fenianos Says 2 Flights 'Escape Disaster' over Lebanon during Syria Raid

Geraldine Edwards
December 26, 2018

Israel's aerial defence system shot down an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria, the Israeli Air Force said in a statement.

He also repeated his frequent pledge that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria, and that the US withdrawal from Syria will have no effect on Israeli activities in the neighboring country. Late last night residents near the Israeli towns of Hadera and Pardes Hanna reported a massive explosion.

In the US, "Newsweek" reported that senior Hezbollah figures were injured in the Israeli air raid.

Moscow on Wednesday said Israel had violated Syria's sovereignty with airstrikes the day before, after Israel and Damascus blamed each other for the hostilities.

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"It's an Israeli raid", said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor. Syrian Air Defenses intercepted and downed most of the missiles, with damage limited to the depot, the agency reported.

It said a number of missiles hit three targets, which it claimed are weapon depots that belong to the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

"Lebanon miraculously escaped a humanitarian disaster that was about to hit the passengers of two civilian planes in Lebanon's airspace during the Israeli aggression against south Damascus that took place from Lebanese airspace", Fenianos told Hariri according to the agency.

However, the US official who spoke to Newsweek said that Israel initiated the attack.

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Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes in the past that mainly targeted Iranian and Hezbollah forces fighting alongside the government in Syria.

Earlier in December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue Israeli operations in Syria to counter Iran's military presence in the country, following the US' decision to withdraw from the Arab Republic.

Tuesday's attack is the first since a missile assault on the southern outskirts of Damascus on November 29. He added that Syrian air traffic controllers redirected the Damascus-bound plane to the Russian air base in Hemeimeem.

Russian Federation announced it had delivered the S-300 air defence system to Syria in October.

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