Lebanon: Syrian strikes were non-military

April 11, 2013 at 9:26 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 11 (UPI) -- The Syrian shelling of a border town in Lebanon had no military objective and was therefore unjustified, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said.

Residents in the northern Lebanese town of Arsal, near the Syrian border, said last week Syrian missiles were fired on targets on the Lebanese side of the border.

Lebanon's national security has come under threat from the civil war in Syria. March marked the seventh anniversary of the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, which broke Syria's grip on Lebanese affairs.

Suleiman said a report on the incident indicated there were no military targets hit by Syrian forces.

"It was established that the shelling did not target military goals," he was quoted by The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon as saying. "Moreover, there are no reasons or justifications for (the bombardment)."

A Lebanese report on the incident said a Syrian attack helicopter fired two missiles on suspected smuggling routes. The Syrian government had warned Lebanon it would take defensive action if anti-regime activity was carried out in the border regions.

A report published Friday by Human Rights Watch accused Syrian forces of conducting airstrikes against civilians, violating the laws of war and committing war crimes. At least 70,000 people have died as a result of civil war, now in its third way.

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