Lebanon Claims: Israeli Warplanes Over Beirut
Israeli warplanes flew over much of Lebanon on Sunday morning, including the capital city of Beirut, Lebanese officials have claimed.
Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman instructed his country's foreign minister to file a complaint with the United Nations over Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace, the AFP news agency reports.
"President Michel Sleiman tasked Foreign Minister Adnan Mansur with filing an urgent complaint to the United Nations about Israel's persistent airspace violations, including over all of Lebanon this morning, including the capital Beirut," a statement said.
AFP correspondents throughout the country reported unusually low and loud Israeli overflights on Sunday morning, including in Beirut.
Israeli warplanes have launched several airstrikes on Syrian targets in recent months, some reportedly carried out from over Lebanon. Israeli sources say the strikes took out "game-changing" weapons that were headed for Hizbullah's terrorist army in Lebanon.
In May, the UN called on Israel to halt increased military air patrols over Lebanon as tensions soared after two Israeli air attacks on Syria.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said then that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, had protested after recording a surge in Israeli flights over Lebanon.
He told a briefing the overflights are a "violation of Lebanese sovereignty and of Security Council resolution 1701" which allowed for a ceasefire that ended Israel's military incursion into southern Lebanon in 2006.
Israeli leaders have warned that Israel will continue to strike Syria if necessary to prevent advanced weapons from reaching Hizbullah.
Israel fought a war against the Lebanese Shiite movement Hizbullah in the summer of 2006. Hizbullah forces are currently battling alongside troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels in the key town of Qusayr near the border with Lebanon.