The UN Security Council has scheduled an unoffocial closed-door meeting for Sunday evening to discuss an Israeli airstrike earlier in the day on targets deep inside Syria.
A senior aide to Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said that Israel could launch new attacks on Syria if Damascus continues to shelter "terrorist" organizations.
On its part, Syria said on Sunday the Israeli airstrike had targeted a civilian site near Damascus in a "grave escalation" of tensions in the Middle East.
In a letter to the United Nations cited by Reuters, Syria's Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara said Syria was capable of deterring Israel but would exercise restraint over the raid.
The letter asked the United Nations to hold an immediate session to discuss the Syrian compliant regarding the Israeli attack.
"I would inform you that the Israeli warplanes on Sunday morning, Oct., 5, violated the Syrian and Lebanese airspaces and attacked a civilian site in Ein Saheb, northwest of Damascus, causing material damages," Shara wrote.
"The Syrian Government informs you with the Israeli clear violation of the Syrian and Lebanese airspaces and the aggression against the Syrian lands in an overt violation of the international laws, principles and charters."
"Syria asks the Security Council to hold an immediate session to discuss the attack by the Israeli warplanes on the Syrian lands and the necessary measures to be adopted by the Security Council to deter Israel from following an aggressive and provocative policy against Syria," Shara added.
"The Israeli government through its continuous aggression on the Palestinians and through its creating to expand the aggression to include Syria and Lebanon renewed the fact that it is a war government and not a peace one."
"Syria is not incapable to create a resist balance deterring Israel and obliging it to reconsider its stances."
"Syria has practiced the highest level of self-restraint realizing that Israel is trying to create pretexts here and there to export its internal crisis to the region and to escalate the situation."
"Syria, being a current state member in the Security Council, trusts that the council is the most suitable frame work for facing and condemning this dangerous development and for deterring and preventing repetition of it because it threatens regional and international security and aggravates the deteriorating situation in the region leading into dire consequences that would be hard to control," Shara concluded.
A Syrian Foreign Ministry statement said the "urgent complaint ... will clarify (Syria's) position" to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UN Security Council.
George Jabbour, a member of Syria's parliament, ruled out a military response, saying Syria will have to deal rationally with the attack. "The military option has conditions, among them that it be beneficial" to Syria, said Jabbour. Military responses have not always proved to be of benefit to Syria, he said. Israel has military might, and Syria has a strong legal position, added Jabbour.
Meanwhile, Jordan has condemned the Israeli attack in Syria. In a statement issued by Jordan's Foreign Minister, Marwan Moasher, the Israeli strike was described as "an act of aggression against a sisterly Arab country."
Furthermore, Jordan warned about a "dangerous escalation of the situation throughout the entire region" and the continuation of the "circle of violence." (Albawaba.com)
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