Thu Sep 6, 2007 10:54 AM EDT
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria accused Israel of bombing its territory on Thursday and said it could respond to its neighbor's "aggression and treachery."
Israel refused all comment on the report, which said no casualties or damage were caused
The Syrian official news agency SANA said Israeli aircraft "infiltrated Syrian airspace through the northern border coming from the direction of the Mediterranean and headed towards northeastern territory, breaking the sound barrier."
"The Syrian Arab Republic warns the government of the Israeli enemy and reserves the right to respond according to what it sees fit," SANA added.
Local residents said they heard the sound of five planes or more above Tal al-Abiad area on Syria's border with Turkey, about 160 km (100 miles) north of the Syrian city of Rakka
Syria Says It Fired on Israeli Aircraft
By ALBERT AJI 09.06.07, 11:08 AM ET
DAMASCUS, Syria -
Syrian air defenses opened fire on Israeli aircraft after they violated Syrian airspace, Syrian officials said Thursday, sharply elevating cross-border tensions.
The Israelis flew east from the Mediterranean Sea over the northern part of the country, broke the sound barrier and "dropped ammunition" over deserted areas of Syria overnight, the spokesman was quoted as saying by the official Syrian Arab News Agency.
"Air defense units confronted them and forced them to leave after they dropped some ammunition in deserted areas without causing any human or material damage," the spokesman said. "We warn the Israeli enemy government against this flagrant aggressive act, and retain the right to respond in an appropriate way."
It was not clear if Syria was accusing the Israelis of using warplanes or some type of other aircraft such as drones. The Syrians did not say the aircraft struck targets, and it was not clear what the spokesman meant by dropping ammunition. Warplanes sometimes drop extra fuel tanks to make the aircraft lighter and easier to maneuver.
Israel's army spokesman declined to comment, saying he could not discuss military operations.
Asked if Israel had attacked his country, Syrian Cabinet Minister Buthaina Shaaban said on Al-Jazeera television's English service that the aircraft violated Syrian airspace.
"We are a sovereign country. They cannot do that," Shaaban said.
Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal said the government was "seriously studying the nature of the response," but did not say in an interview with Al-Jazeera whether the reaction would be on the military or diplomatic level.
It is unclear if, or how often, Israeli aircraft overfly Syria.
Israel acknowledges flying over Lebanon routinely and is believed to fly routine reconnaissance flights over the Golan Heights to monitor Syrian army moves near the disputed territory. Witnesses said Thursday's incident occurred over the other side of Syria, in the al-Abyad area near the northeast border with Turkey near the Mediterranean.
Syrian officials, including President Bashar Assad, have repeatedly warned Israel in recent weeks that the occupation of the Golan Heights "cannot last forever."
Meanwhile, yesterday, Wednesday September 5th
Pope meets with Syrian VP, discusses Iraq refugees, Christians and others in Mideast
VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials met Wednesday with Syria's vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa, to discuss the situation of Christians in Syria and the role Damascus should play in bringing peace to the Middle East, the Vatican said.
Al-Sharaa delivered a personal message to Benedict from Syrian President Bashar Assad, although the contents weren't released.
The visit came on the eve of Benedict's audience with Israeli President Shimon Peres, part of a new international diplomatic push under way on the Middle East.
Also, Dennis Kucinich just visited Syria
US Democratic hopeful Kucinich meets Assad, blasts Bush
I am remembering all the talk that war was going to break out this summer, it's September, and summer is still the official season. The only thought I have at the moment is to PRAY.