Lebanon and Russia condemn Israeli airstrikes against Syria
Posted December 26, 2018 5:03 p.m. EST
(CNN) — Lebanon's Foreign Ministry Wednesday condemned Israeli airstrikes against Syria carried out one day earlier, and said it filed a complaint to the United Nations accusing Israel of threatening the stability of the region.
Also Wednesday, Russia's Defense Ministry said the airstrikes near the Syrian capital of Damascus "posed a direct threat to two passenger airplanes."
Syrian Air Defenses on Tuesday intercepted and downed "a number of hostile targets" over the western countryside of Damascus on Tuesday, according to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA.
SANA reported "the aggression" was carried out from Lebanese airspace.
A Lebanese Foreign Ministry statement Wednesday condemned the air strikes and said Syria has the right to the "defense of its land and sovereignty."
Lebanon said its complaint to the UN alleges "serious Israeli violations threatening the stability of the region, which posed a threat to the movement of civil aircraft" and created the potential of "a major air disaster."
Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Israeli strikes "were carried out at the same time as the landing of civilian non-Russian airplanes" in Beirut, Lebanon and Damascus, Syria.
"To prevent the tragedy, restrictions were imposed on the use of air defense and means of electronic warfare by the Syrian government forces," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russia said air traffic controllers in Damascus one of the civilian aircraft to Khmeimim Air Base, which is southeast of the Syrian city of Latakia, and operated by Russia.
Russia's Foreign Ministry called the Israeli airstrikes "a gross violation of the sovereignty of Syria." The strong condemnation from Moscow underscored the continued tension between the two countires after Russia blamed Israel for the downing of a Russian military plane in September.
On Tuesday, three Syrian soldiers were injured during the Israeli missile assault on an ammunition depot, SANA reported, citing a military source. Syrian Air Defenses intercepted and downed most of the missiles, with damage limited to the depot, the agency reported.
Israel Defense Forces, meanwhile, said in a statement that an aerial defense system intercepted an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria, according to a statement posted on the IDF official Twitter account.
No injuries or damage were reported, the IDF told CNN.
CNN asked the IDF for more information on the reported attacks on Syria, but the IDF declined further comment.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking Wednesday at an Israeli air force base, didn't acknowledge the strikes, but asserted that Israel would continue to act in Syria.
"We are not prepared to accept the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria which is directed against us. We will act against it vigorously and continuously including during the current period," Netanyahu said. "President Trump's decision to withdraw the American soldiers from Syria will not change our policy. We are standing steadfast on our red lines in Syria and everywhere else."
On November 29, Syria said its air defenses foiled an Israeli strike over al-Kiswah region in southern countryside of Damascus.