Lebanon Slams Israeli Use of Its Airspace for Syria Attacks

Reports 18 Airspace Violations Since Thursday

by Jason Ditz, May 05, 2013

Though Israel and Syria have a common border, the recent Israeli attacks have not gone directly into Syrian airspace but rather have used their mutual neighbor Lebanon.

The Lebanese government slammed the use of their airspace for attacks, saying it underscores Israel’s policy is violating their sovereignty as well as amounting to aggression against the Assad government.

Lebanese officials have been reporting an unusual number of airspace violations over the past several days, with 18 distinct overflights, which they have promised to take as an issue to the UN Security Council. With both the US and Britain praising the attacks, the UN is unlikely to do anything.

Syria has made considerable efforts to acquire air defense equipment to prevent Israeli attacks, but Lebanon has no such capabilities, and its proximity to the Syrian capital city of Damascus has made it a convenient route for Israeli warplanes.

Israeli planes regularly violate Lebanese airspace at any rate, but being a staging ground for attacks on Syria was never part of the equation before, and puts Lebanon in an extremely difficult position, and may add to the political uncertainty and ongoing sectarian tensions already rising from the Syrian civil war.

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