Lebanon: Aoun, Berri, Hariri Talk «Israeli» Syria Strikes
President Michel Aoun discussed the latest developments in Syria after "Israeli" strikes early Saturday with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a tweet from the president's office said.
"President Aoun consulted with Berri and Hariri on developments resulting from Israeli attacks against Syria and received reports from the Defense Minister and the Army commander," the tweet said.
The incident near Damascus, a significant escalation in the seven-year-old Syria conflict, comes at a time of heightened tensions on the southern Lebanese over the "Israeli" entity's construction of a wall and comments made by senior figures over Lebanon's oil and gas exploration plans near the disputed maritime border.
He also called Minister Yaacoub Sarraf and Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun who gave him military and security reports.
The state-run National News Agency later clarified that President Aoun telephoned Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is outside Lebanon, to consult with them on the latest developments and what positions the country should take.
It added that the military provided the president with reports on surface-to-air missile casings fired by Syrian air defense against "Israeli" warplanes that landed in Lebanon.
A source from Baabda Palace said that Lebanon's response and security measures would depend on how the situation develops.
"The information gathered today required this discussion [between Aoun, Berri and Hariri]. Deliberations will evolve based on how things develop," the source said. "Up until now, things didn't happen on [Lebanese] territories. But, this time, things are different from the regular confrontations that used to happen [with Israel]. There is an ‘Israeli' warplane that was downed and there are ‘Israeli' threats."
The source said they didn't receive information that the Army was on high alert on the border, but believed that any security development requires measures and caution to be taken.
The Foreign Ministry condemned the use of Lebanese airspace to carry out the raid and affirmed the right of Syria to defend itself against any "Israeli" aggression, a statement reported.
It added that the ministry Thursday instructed the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations in New York to lodge a complaint with the Security Council against the "Israeli" entity "for its use of Lebanese airspace to launch attacks against Syria."
"The ‘Israeli' practices threaten the regional stability, so the ministry asked the concerned countries to rein in ‘Israel'," the statement read.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team