Netanyahu confirms air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria

Jan 15, 2019, 00:54
Netanyahu confirms air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria

"In just the last 36 hours, the air force struck Iran's warehouses, containing Iranian arms, in Damascus global airport", he added, referring to a Friday night sortie that Syria said it had answered with anti-aircraft fire.

After previously reporting the discovery of five tunnels, the Israeli military said another had been found yesterday, 55 metres deep and reaching "a few tens of metres" into Israel from a point 800 metres within Lebanon. Israel rarely comments on its operations so Mr Netanyahu's admission is rare.

Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006. According to Al-Hadath TV channel, the Israeli planes attacked Iranian military warehouses near the airport, which are used by the Hezbollah militias, fighting on the side of the government's army.

The United States will step up efforts to counter Iran's "dangerous activities" around the region, including the financing and activities of proxy organizations such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, a senior USA official said Monday.

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'The accumulation of recent attacks shows that we're more determined than ever to act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised'. While they have at times traded blows within Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, the Israel-Lebanon border has mostly been quiet.

With sixth Hezbollah tunnel discovered Saturday afternoon, Israel declared victory and announced the completion of Operation Northern Shield on Sunday.

Israel has long called for a crackdown on the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a heavily armed mini-army that is believed to possess an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost all of Israel.

"All of the tunnels have been exposed and have either already been destroyed or are going to be destroyed", military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

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Hezbollah has not commented on the tunnels, the existence of several of which was confirmed by United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon.

US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale spoke following talks he held with Lebanese politicians at the end of an official visit.

News of the operation's conclusion comes in the final week of Israel's outgoing military chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot's four-year tenure.

"We'll continue our engineering actions along the border and tracking Hezbollah's underground activities. We yet have much work to do and we will do it", Netanyahu said.

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In an interview with The New York Times, the general said that Israel had carried out attacks on "thousands of [Iranian] targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit".