Israel Launches Missile Strikes On Syria Over Lebanese Airspace

Airstrikes on Syrian targets allegedly by Israeli aircraft occurred early 19 August, only hours after Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah cautioned Israel and the US not to interfere with an approaching fuel shipment from Iran, as Lebanon faces a severe fuel and energy shortage. According to SANA, “Israel carried out an airstrike with rockets” on Damascus and Homs at 23:03 local time (20:00 GMT). “Our air defense systems intercepted hostile missiles and shot down the majority of them,” added SANA, Syria’s official news agency.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Hezbollah’s weapons caches in the al-Kalamun region between Damascus and Homs were targeted in the attack. At least four people were killed in the attack, according to reports. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, headquartered in the United Kingdom, said that those killed were Hezbollah members.

This was Israel’s second attack on Syria in two days. Israel launched a missile strike on military targets in the southwestern region of Kuneitra on Tuesday. The jets traveled to their targets in Syria after flying at low altitudes in Lebanon’s suburbs, according to Lebanese media.

According to Lebanon’s civil aviation chief Fadi al-Hassan, who spoke to the Lebanese media Al Nahar, a MEA commercial airliner carrying passengers was spared at the last minute from being hit by Israeli Air Force missiles fired over Beirut. Pilots stated they had to make an emergency detour over Syria to avoid Israeli strikes, and that other planes were also affected. Due to the attack, four commercial planes had to cancel their departures from Beirut’s Hariri International Airport, which was reported to be closed for security reasons.

Lebanon requested the United Nations intervene to cease Israel’s violations of Lebanese airspace on Friday, a day after Israeli aircraft struck Syrian targets via Lebanon. Israeli jets “clearly violated Lebanese airspace,” according to Defense Minister Zeina Akar.

According Akar Israel violated UN Security Council Resolution 1071, which was enacted to stop conflicts during the Israel-Lebanon War, which began on 12 July, 2006 and lasted roughly a month. The head of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), General Stefano Del Col, also commented on the situation. “I again call on the IDF to desist from such actions, which undermine UNIFIL efforts to contain tensions and build confidence among the local population.” the Italian senior official said in a tweet.

Image: File photo a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flies over northern Iraq early in the morning of Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in against ISIS in Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/Released)