Egypt condemns Israeli 'exploitation' of Syria crisis

Ahram Online, Reuters, Sunday 5 May 2013

Office of President Mohamed Morsi denounces Israeli attacks on targets near Damascus

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Photo: AP)

The Egyptian presidency has condemned an Israeli raid near Damascus on Sunday and accused it of exploiting the crisis in Syria.

"Despite Egypt's strong condemnation of the bloodshed in Syria, in which the Syrian army is firing on its own citizens, we also reject the breach of Syria's sovereignty and the exploitation of its domestic crisis," the presidency said in a statement.

The attack will "further complicate the situation [in Syria] and threaten the security and stability of the region,” the statement added.

The presidency rejected any foreign military intervention in Syria, saying the country's sovereignty must be respected.

The target of Sunday's attack, according to Syrian media, was the same Jamraya military research centre that was hit by Israel in another assault in January.

Jamraya, on the northern approaches to Damascus, is just 15km (10 miles) from the Lebanese border.

A Western intelligence source said Israel carried out the attack on Iranian-supplied missiles which were en route to Hezbollah, Reuters reported.

"We condemn the Israeli aggression on Syria as it represents a violation of international laws and principles and only aims at further complicating the situation [in Syria] as well as threatening the security and stability of the region," the presidency's statement continued.

"The attacks carried out by Israel serve as a true test to the international community and the United Nations, specifically on the commitment to international law."

Sunday's attack was Israel's third strike inside Syria since late January.

Israel declined to comment, but Syria accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the attack.

The attack came soon after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike earlier in the week "targeting missiles in Syria intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbullah."

The uprising against President Al-Assad began with mainly peaceful protests that were met with force and grew into a bloody civil war in which the United Nations says at least 70,000 people have been killed.

Al-Assad has lost control of large areas of north and eastern Syria, and is battling rebels on the fringes of Damascus.

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