Israeli Planes Attack Syria Through Lebanese Airspace; Forced Civilian Planes to Reroute

Lebanon complains to UN about sovereignty violation

Overnight Thursday Israeli warplanes carried out attacks against the Syrian capital of Damascus and nearby Homs. As is so often the case, the Israeli planes used Lebanese airspace to attack Syria.

This is a problem most of the time, and was even more perilous this time, as a pair of civilian airliners had to be rerouted. Violating Lebanese airspace is one thing, endangering aircraft is quite another.

Lebanese PM Hassan Diab has instructed the ambassador to the UN to raise a complaint about the attack, and the “repeated infringements on Lebanon’s sovereignty by Israel.”

The attack fired an estimated 24 missiles at targets in Syria, killing four who were identified as “pro-Iran fighters.” Russia reported that 22 out of 24 missiles were successfully intercepted by the Syrian air defenses.

That Russia is commenting is noteworthy, because Russia has been trying to curtail the number of Israeli attacks on Syria. Up until this week, Israel had not launched an attack in nearly a month,

When reports of Russia wanting to stop the strike first went public, Israeli strikes stopped cold. This week’s first attack, missile fire at Quineitra, seemed to be testing the environment, and when there was no Russian reaction, Israel almost immediately launched a bigger, more ambitious attack. It seems they’re back to the old policy on strikes.

As is generally the case, Israel did not comment on the strike, nor have they clarified any policy changes. That they’ve carried out the strikes, however, suggests they may be back to striking regularly, or at least gauging Russia’s reaction, or lack thereof.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.