Israeli jets said to cause sonic boom over Lebanon
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Israeli jets said to cause sonic boom over Lebanon

Report comes a day after Beirut complained to the UN that IDF planes violated its airspace in raid on Syrian missile plant

One of Israel's first two F-35 stealth fighter jets flies alongside an F-16 on its maiden flight as part of the Israeli Air Force on December 13, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
One of Israel's first two F-35 stealth fighter jets flies alongside an F-16 on its maiden flight as part of the Israeli Air Force on December 13, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Low-flying Israeli fighter jets reportedly caused at least one sonic boom over the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on Sunday, a day after Beirut said it would file a complaint against Israel at the UN for violating its national airspace to strike targets inside Syria.

An Associated Press reporter in Sidon heard two sonic booms and saw four jets flying overhead at various altitudes.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported one sonic boom caused by a low-flying Israeli jet.

Neither the Lebanese Army nor the Israeli military immediately commented on the reports.

On Saturday, Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry said it would file an “urgent complaint” against Israel with the United Nations Security Council for violating its national airspace when its jets allegedly carried out an airstrike against a Syrian government installation.

Israeli jets were reported to have struck shortly after midnight on Thursday an installation that a former senior Israeli intelligence official said was producing precision missiles, chemical weapons and barrel bombs.

Hezbollah, which is part of the coalition fighting for Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria, is part of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government, though Lebanon officially remains neutral over the Syrian civil war.

A number of reports said the missiles were fired from within Lebanese airspace and not from inside Syria, where Russian and US-led coalition aircraft are also active.

Satellite image of a CERS facility near Masyaf reportedly hit by an Israeli airstrike overnight Wednesday, September 7, 2017 (screen capture: Google Earth)

The target was apparently a Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) facility near Masyaf, which is in the northern Hama region. CERS is a Syrian government agency that Western officials have long associated with the production of chemical weapons.

The Syrian army confirmed that a military site near Masyaf was bombed, saying the attack was carried out by Israeli jets and killed two people.

Syrian opposition forces have in recent months claimed the Masyaf site, and other CERS facilities, have been working on a joint projects with Iranian specialists to develop chemical weapons capability for missiles.

Israel had not comment on the incident.

Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on Israeli communities during the 2006 war with Israel. Since last Tuesday, tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers have been staging a mock 10-day war against Hezbollah in northern Israel, marking the IDF’s largest exercise in nearly 20 years, amid tensions over growing Iranian influence in Syria and Lebanon.

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