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BEIRUT (AP) — Syria says the recent Israeli airstrikes against its territory are a "flagrant violation of international law" and have made the Middle East "more dangerous."

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi read out a Cabinet statement to reporters Sunday in Damascus following an emergency government meeting.

Al-Zoubi says the Israeli attack is evidence of the Jewish state's links with Islamic extremist groups trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad's regime.

He adds that Syria has the right and the duty "to defend its people by all available means."

In a letter sent to the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council, Syria sats the attacks aim "to give direct military support to terrorist groups" fighting the government.

Syria's government refers to rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad's regime as "terrorists."

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