Thousands of Syrians took to the streets on Monday, February 20, to protest against repeated Israeli aggression directed at the country. Protesters also chanted slogans against the unilateral coercive measures (sanctions) imposed against Syria by the U.S. and its allies, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
At least five Syrians were killed and 15 wounded when missiles fired by Israeli warplanes landed inside the densely populated Kafr Sousa neighborhood in capital Damascus on Sunday, February 19. According to SANA, all but one of those killed were civilians. The Syrian military claimed that its air defense had intercepted some of the Israeli missiles.
The attack—carried out in the middle of the night—caused a number of residential buildings, including a 10-story structure, to collapse.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met foreign diplomats and ambassadors in Damascus and called the attacks “a crime against humanity,” especially at a time when the country was “racing against time to address the catastrophic consequences of the devastating earthquake.”
Nearly 47,000 people have been reported dead so far from the February 6 earthquake—41,000 in Turkey and more than 5,800 in Syria, with the latter struggling to keep up the pace of rescue operations due to war, sanctions, and a lack of adequate international support.
Mekdad called for global and “urgent condemnation of Israeli aggression to deter it from killing civilians and violating the sovereignty of states.”
He added that “the continuation of Israeli brutal attacks, and crimes against the Palestinian and Syrian people, constitutes an explicit threat to peace and security in the region and beyond.”
There has been no comment from Israel yet regarding the airstrike.
The attacks were condemned by Russia, Iran, Cuba, and several other countries.