Syria Threatens to Bomb 'Terrorist Gangs' inside Lebanon in Letter of Protestإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syria on Thursday warned that its forces would fire into Lebanon if "terrorist gangs" continued to infiltrate the country, in a letter of protest to Lebanon.
"These past 36 hours, armed terrorist gangs have infiltrated Syrian territory in large numbers from Lebanon," the Syrian foreign ministry said in the letter carried by Syria's news agency SANA.
"Syrian forces have confronted these gangs and clashes are continuing," the ministry added.
"Syrian forces are showing restraint by not striking these gangs inside Lebanese territory to prevent them from crossing into Syria, but this will not go on indefinitely," it said, urging Lebanon to take action.
Earlier on Thursday, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali announced that Syria had submitted the letter of protest to Lebanese authorities, complaining against “violations of the neighboring country's territory on the border”.
"Armed men have been sneaking into (the Syrian town of) Tall Kalakh and the region has witnessed several violations in the last couple of days,” Ali explained in an interview with al-Mayadeen television.
He noted: “Syria is still exercising self-control towards violations coming from Lebanese territory”.
The Syrian diplomat said the Lebanese Deputy Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry Charbel Wehbe expressed his “empathy with the note”, promising to deliver it to President Michel Suleiman and relevant authorities.
"We hope the Lebanese army will respond to these acts that threaten security in both countries,” Ali added.
The Syrian foreign ministry had submitted to Lebanese authorities on July 25, 2012 a complaint against what it called “violations on the border.”
Since the eruption of Syria's clashes in 2011, Lebanon's northern areas have been witnessing several security incidents, the latest of which was in October 2012, when heavy Syrian gunfire targeted the border town of al-Abboudiyeh, forcing residents to flee the area en masse.
Later on Thursday, the U.N. Security Council expressed "grave concern" over cross-border attacks between Syria and Lebanon in a rare united declaration on the Syrian conflict.
Council members "underscored their grave concern over repeated incidents of cross-border fire which caused death and injury among the Lebanese population, incursions, abductions and arms trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border, as well as other border violations."
The Security Council "underlined the importance of full respect for Lebanon's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity."
It also expressed "deep concern at the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon's stability."