Syria urges UN to condemn Israeli air raids on its territory

Monday 23 June 2014 17.47
An Israeli soldier carrying a shell at a field next to tanks deployed on the Israeli-Syrian border
An Israeli soldier carrying a shell at a field next to tanks deployed on the Israeli-Syrian border

Syria has urged the United Nations to condemn Israel's "flagrant violation" of its territory over air raids it said killed four of its soldiers in the Israeli-held Golan Heights.

"The Israeli occupation forces carried out a new attack against positions inside Syrian territory, which constitutes a new, flagrant violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement, of the UN charter and international law," Syria's foreign ministry said in letters addressed to the UN secretary general and to the Security Council.

The ministry said the attack involved "fire from tanks, mortars and rockets as well as raids launched by five Israeli fighter jets, causing the death of four martyrs, wounding nine other soldiers and damaging positions and equipment".

Israel launched the raids overnight after a teenager was killed in a blast on the Israel-held side of the plateau.

The Arab Israeli son of a defence ministry contractor was killed on the Golan yesterday when a blast hit the car he was travelling in with his father.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had reported today that Israeli warplanes killed at least ten Syrian soldiers during the raids.

The Britain-based monitor said the main target of the Israeli warplanes was the headquarters of Brigade 90, a unit deployed on the Golan, but other positions were also targeted.

The Israeli military said today that its aircraft had hit nine Syrian army positions on the Golan.

"The IDF (army) targeted nine Syrian army positions in response to the earlier attack that originated in Syria killing an Israeli teenager and injuring two other Israeli civilians," an army spokesman said.

Their targets included Syrian military headquarters and launching positions, Israel's army said, adding direct hits were confirmed.

Israeli troops captured 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War, annexing it later in a move never recognised by the international community.

The two countries are technically still at war.

Since the beginning of the March 2011 uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his forces have engaged in intense combat with rebels in the Golan area.

In its letters to the UN, the Syrian foreign ministry accused Israel of directly aiding rebels in the Golan who have been fighting to overthrow the government.

"In parallel to this raid, armed terrorist groups attacked military posts, but the army pushed them back," it said.

The ministry said the Israeli raids had taken place "under the eyes of Hervé Ladsous, the UN under-secretary general for UN peacekeeping operations, who was present in the United Nations force charged with observing disengagement (from the border, UNDOF) operations room, and who was following the Israeli attacks".