Lebanon to complain to Security Council after Israeli strike threatened civilian airliners

Moscow on Wednesday said missiles endangered two jets that were preparing to land in Damascus and Beirut

FILE PHOTO: Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki/File Photo
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Lebanon's foreign ministry is set to lodge a complaint against Israel at the UN security council, after airstrikes purportedly launched by Israel towards Syria threatened civilian airliners flying over Lebanese airspace. 
Lebanon's Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos confirmed on Wednesday that airstrikes launched towards southern Damascus overnight threatened the safety of civilian airliners that were flying over Lebanese airspace at the time of the attack.
He said that Lebanon narrowly evaded "a catastrophe," according to a statement carried by Lebanon's state-run National News Agency.


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A foreign ministry statement on Wednesday denounced Israel's use of Lebanese airspace to launch attacks against "friendly countries," in reference to Syria. It called on the UN and the international community to denounce the aggression.
Minister Gebran Bassil also issued instructions to Lebanon's envoy to the UN to lodge a complaint against Israel at the Security Council, the statement said.
Moscow on Wednesday said Israeli airstrikes threatened two airliners that were preparing to land in Damascus and Beirut.

"The provocative actions of the Israeli air force.. directly threatened two airliners," Russian foreign ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

Mr Konashenkov said Israel launched the raid at the moment when two civilian airliners were preparing to land in Damascus and Beirut, creating a "direct threat" to the aircraft.

He said the Syrian military didn't fully engage its air defense assets to avoid accidentally hitting the passenger jets. He added that Syrian air traffic controllers redirected the Damascus-bound plane to the Russian air base in Hemeimeem.

Syrian air defences shot down Israeli missiles near the capital Damascus on Tuesday, local state media reported.

The official Syrian news agency SANA said air defences "intercepted hostile missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes" from over Lebanese territories, citing a military source.

It added that the majority of them were downed before reaching their targets near the capital Damascus. Three soldiers were injured and an ammunition depot damaged.