Syria accuses Israel of bombing Damascus airport

4-Airstrikes kill 15 suspected militants in North WaziristanDAMASCUS: Syria accused Israel of bombing its main international airport on Sunday as the UN announced talks with rebel leaders on a ceasefire in its war-battered second city of Aleppo.

Israel has launched a series of air strikes inside Syria since the outbreak of the country’s armed uprising in 2011, including raids reportedly targeting Iranian rockets bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

“This afternoon, the Israeli enemy targeted two safe areas in Damascus province, namely the Dimas area and the Damascus International Airport,” the army said in a statement.

It said the strikes caused damage but that nobody was hurt.

Both civilian and military aircraft operate at the airport, which lies southeast of Damascus near flashpoint areas including Eastern Ghouta, large parts of which are in rebel hands.

There was no immediate reaction from the Israeli authorities, but the Syrian army reiterated its claim that the Jewish state is helping rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

“This direct aggression by Israel was carried out to help the terrorists in Syria, after our armed forces secured important victories in Deir Ezzor, Aleppo and elsewhere,” the army said.

Sunday’s air raids proved “Israel’s direct support for terrorism in Syria, “it said, using the regime’s collective term to refer to peaceful opponents, armed rebels and jihadists fighting in Syria.

Later, the Syrian foreign ministry said it had asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel, describing the strikes as “a heinous crime against Syria’s sovereignty”, according to state news agency SANA.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said both of the targeted sites were used for military purposes.

“Both were military sites, and weapons were being stored there, “Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

In the past year, Israel has reportedly carried out a number of raids on Syrian targets and on positions of the Lebanese Shia militant Hezbollah, an ally of both Syria and arch-foe Iran.

In March, Israeli warplanes attacked Syrian army positions just hours after a bomb wounded four Israeli soldiers on the Golan, one severely.

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