- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2013

The intensity level of Middle East affairs ratcheted a degree higher Thursday, as Russian officials expressed concern, almost to the point of condemnation, about reported Israeli air strikes in Syria.

“If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violates the U.N. charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it,” said the Russian foreign ministry, in a statement, according to various media reports.

Syrian military had confirmed a “scientific research center” outside Damascus had been attacked on Wednesday, according to The Guardian. Lebanese media, meanwhile, said a dozen Israeli fighter jets have flown over its airspace in the past two days, according to The Guardian. And sources in a Reuters report said Israeli jets had bombed a convoy near the Syrian-Lebanon border on Wednesday, in apparent attempt to halt the shipment of weapons to Hezbollah.

Israel has warned of military action to stop Syria’s chemical weapons from falling into Hezbollah hands, various media report — but so far, Israel is silent on the recent accusations of attacks. Israel “routinely” declines to confirm or deny military strikes that are preemptive in nature, Voice of America reports.

Hezbollah, meanwhile, isn’t waiting on Israel’s official statements. The group has called for international condemnation of Israel for the alleged strike, Ynet News reports.

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