Israel strike on Syria 'unacceptable': Russia
AFPDAMASCUS -- Russia warned on Thursday that any airstrike against its ally Syria would be “unacceptable,” as Israel maintained a strict silence on claims it had bombed Syrian targets.
February 1, 2013, 1:01 am TWN
Russia's foreign ministry said it was “deeply concerned” after Damascus claimed a military research center had come under Israeli fighter jet attack at dawn on Wednesday.
“If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked strikes against targets located on the territory of a sovereign state, which brazenly infringes on the U.N. Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motive used for its justification,” said a statement in Moscow.
The foreign minister of Syrian neighbor Iran, another close Damascus ally, characterized the alleged attack as a “brutal aggression” against the country.
Ali Akbar Salehi claimed it was part of a “Western and Zionist strategy to push aside the success of the Syrian people and government to return to stability and security.”
The strident Russian comment came after Syria accused Israel of launching a strike on a military research center in Jamraya, near Damascus.
“Israeli fighter jets violated our airspace ... and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research center in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defense,” the army general command said.
The warplanes entered Syria's airspace at low altitude and under the radar, the army said, adding that two site workers were killed.Residents told AFP six rockets hit the complex, causing a fire and killing two people.
Meanwhile, the army denied separate reports from security sources that an Israeli airstrike had targeted a weapons convoy from Syria near the border with Lebanon.
Israeli officials and the military refused to confirm or deny on Thursday any involvement in the alleged attack and had no comment on the reports that its warplanes had struck a weapons convoy. The United States also declined to comment.
Hezbollah, in a statement from its Beirut headquarters, denounced “a new Zionist aggression” and said it exposed the true origins of the bloody conflict in Syria.