Naharnet

Fenianos Says 2 Flights 'Escape Disaster' over Lebanon during Syria Raid

Two civilian flights “narrowly escaped a humanitarian disaster” Tuesday over Lebanon during an Israeli raid on targets in Syria, a Lebanese minister said on Wednesday.

Caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos called Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to “put him in the picture of what happened yesterday” during Israel's airstrike, the National News Agency said.

“Lebanon miraculously escaped a humanitarian disaster that was about to hit the passengers of two civilian planes in Lebanon's airspace during the Israeli aggression against south Damascus that took place from Lebanese airspace,” Fenianos told Hariri according to the agency.

“They agreed that Lebanon will file an urgent complaint with the U.N. Security Council against Israel in order to reach a resolution that would protect Lebanon and its civilians,” NNA said.

Earlier in the day, the Russian military also said that that the Israeli airstrike had endangered two civilian flights.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that six Israeli F-16 jets launched the "provocative" raid at the moment when two civilian airliners were preparing to land in Damascus and Beirut, creating a "direct threat" to the aircraft.

Konashenkov said the Syrian military didn't fully engage its air defense assets to avoid accidentally hitting the passenger jets. He added that Syrian air traffic controllers redirected the Damascus-bound plane to the Russian air base in Hemeimeem.

Konashenkov said the Syrian air defense forces shot down 14 of the 16 precision-guided bombs dropped by the Israeli jets, while the remaining two hit a Syrian military depot, injuring three Syrian soldiers.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment.


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