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9 Apr, 2018 17:03

Israeli missile strike ‘indirect response’ to Syrian Army’s success in E. Ghouta – Damascus

Israeli missile strike ‘indirect response’ to Syrian Army’s success in E. Ghouta – Damascus

Sunday’s missile strike in Homs was Israel’s “indirect response” to the Syrian Army’s liberation of Eastern Ghouta, Damascus has said. Syria also called on the UN Security Council to condemn the act of “Israeli aggression.”

"The Israeli attack constitutes an indirect response to the success of the Syrian Arab Army in eliminating armed terrorist groups from the Damascus suburbs and other Syrian areas,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres obtained by Syria’s SANA news agency.

“These groups helped to kill the Syrian people, abduct civilians and use them as human shields. Three thousand shells in just three months have led to the deaths of 155 citizens and wounded 865 civilians, mostly women and children."

The letter states that there will be “serious repercussions” for Israel’s attack, reaffirming that Syria “will not hesitate to exercise its right to defend its territory, people and sovereignty in all the ways guaranteed by the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of international humanitarian law and international law.”

The letter also called upon the UN Security Council to “condemn these blatant Israeli aggressions and to take resolute and immediate action to prevent the recurrence of such attacks.”

Israel has not commented on Sunday’s missile attack. The Russian military said on Monday that two Israeli F-15s had targeted a Syrian airbase in Homs on Sunday night. Five of the eight missiles launched were intercepted before they reached their target, according to the Russian military. Lebanon has confirmed that Israeli warplanes had breached its airspace.

READ MORE: 'Nothing off the table' in Syria: Trump promises decision on US military action within 24-48 hours

The strike came just hours after US President Donald Trump vowed that there would be consequences for the Syrian government, following accusations that Damascus was responsible for an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.

Trump surprised his military advisers last week after he said that he wanted to “get out” of Syria. Administration officials later clarified that there would be no immediate withdrawal but that Trump was opposed to keeping troops in the country long-term.

Moscow has warned that any military action taken in response to the unverified chemical attack would be “absolutely unacceptable” and could lead to “dire consequences.”

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