Thursday, January 31, 2013

Syria: Israel attacked military research centre

The Syrian military has confirmed that Israeli jets have carried out an air strike on its territory, but denied reports that lorries carrying weapons bound for Lebanon were hit, the BBC reports. The Syrian army said in a statement that the target was a military research centre northwest of the capital Damascus. Two people were killed and five injured in the attack, it said.
Lebanese security sources, Western diplomats and Syrian rebels say an arms convoy was hit near Lebanon's border. The attack came as Israel voiced fears that Syrian missiles and chemical weapons could fall into the hands of militants such as Lebanon's Hezbollah.
The army statement, quoted in Syria's official media, said: "Israeli fighter jets violated our airspace at dawn today and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research centre in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defence." The centre, in Jamraya, northwest of the capital Damascus, was damaged in the attack, along with an adjacent building and a car park, the statement said. It said that "armed terrorist gangs", a term the government uses to describe rebel groups, had tried and failed repeatedly to capture the same facility in recent months.The statement specifically denied reports that an arms convoy had been hit.
Hours earlier, unnamed Lebanese security sources reported that Israeli warplanes had struck lorries carrying missiles towards the Lebanese border. The Associated Press quoted a US official as saying the lorries were carrying Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles.

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