An El Al plane in Ben Gurion Airport.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Syria threatened to attack Ben-Gurion Airport in response to Israel's aerial strike against a weapons storage site at Damascus International Airport earlier this week.
The Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari, warned of the possibility of such a retaliatory attack, when he spoke Tuesday at the UN Security Council’s monthly meeting on the Middle East in New York.
“Isn’t it high time for this council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country?” he asked. “Or should we attract the attention of the war makers in this council, by exercising our legitimate right to self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Civil Airport by launching an aggression against the Tel Aviv airport."
Ja’afari complained of the repeated Israeli aerial attacks against his country. Israel has executed repeated airstrikes in Syria to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in that country.
The UNSC’s failure to act against Israel and the support it receives from permanent members of the UNSC has encouraged such “aggressions,” Ja’afari added. “These acts were not condemned. There were no calls to halt such acts by this UNSC, in light of the position of the US, Britain and France, who are partners and supporters of Israel in such aggression.
He said that those countries "continue to play the role of false witness and prevent the UNSC from undertaking its responsibility."
Syria intends to exercise its right to self-defense and to work to take back the Golan Heights, Ja’afari said.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and has since annexed it. Israel has asked the Trump administration to recognize its sovereignty over that area.
The UN repeatedly passes resolutions calling on Israel to return that territory to Syria, in spite of the civil war in that country.
“Restoring the occupied Syrian Golan by all means possible... is a principled right for the Syrian Arab Republic," Ja'afari said. "It is not subject to negotiation, waiver or statutory limitation. The full withdrawal of the Israeli occupied forces... is an unwavering request based international law” and UNSC resolutions, he added.
UNSC members should reconsider their support of Israel, or risk dooming the UN to irrelevancy, like the former League of Nations that preceded it, Ja’afari noted.
The UN member states should take a stand against attempts to bypass the organization, Ja’afari said, as he pointed to the US plan to hold an international meeting in Warsaw next month on peace and security in the Middle East.
Ja’afari also warned that his country would oppose any attempts to “redraw the map of the region.” He added, “Our people who have stood against his unprecedented international terrorist war, impose upon us, would also stand against such plans and will make it a failure."
Earlier this week, the IDF attacked military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force in Syria, including weapons storage sites, an Iranian intelligence site and an Iranian training camp. The strikes were in response to a surface-to-surface missile that was shot at Israel by the Iranians in Syria on Sunday afternoon.
The Syrian Center for Human Rights in London reported that the number of people killed in the IDF attack had risen to at least 21. According to the report, 15 of the dead were not Syrians, with 12 being identified as members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corp.
It was also reported that the greatest amount of damage caused was to warehouses and military sites of the Revolutionary Guards in Syria.
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