BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel media implies army behind Lebanon-Syria border raids

  • Members of the demining unit of Hezbollah, raise up their hands as they shout slogans in support of pro-Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," in Mashghara village Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli media Tuesday implied the army was responsible for air raids that struck a Hezbollah position on the Syria-Lebanon border, but the military held its silence.

Israel rarely comments on raids against Hezbollah but it has repeatedly warned it will not tolerate the transfer of weapons to the Shiite movement from its key regional allies Iran and Syria.

A Lebanese security source said Israeli warplanes launched two raids late Monday against a Hezbollah position on the Lebanon-Syria border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said the target was a Hezbollah "missile base".

Hezbollah's television, Al-Manar, denied that any raid took place, reporting only the "strong presence of enemy planes over the area north of the Bekaa" Valley in eastern Lebanon.

The Israeli military denied to comment on the reports and officials were equally mum.

Local media however suggested Israel was behind the raids.

Israel's top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot ran the front page headline, "Foreign reports: Israeli strike in Lebanon", while referring to strikes Israel implicitly admitted carrying out against Hezbollah in Syria last year.

Other media pointed to weekend remarks by army chief Lieutenant General Benny Gantz who warned against arms transfer from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"We are monitoring closely the transfer of all types of weapons to all fronts," Gantz was quoted as saying.

"Sometimes, in case of necessity, something can happen," he said in an apparent reference to possible Israeli military intervention.

Gantz also accused Iran of transferring arms.

"There is not one single front where the Iranians are not involved, handing out torches to pyromaniacs, in the form of weapons, missiles or fighters," he said during a tour of the Golan Heights.

Late October, media reported that Israeli warplanes struck a Syrian airbase where missiles for Hezbollah were stockpiled.

At the time a US official confirmed to AFP an Israeli strike in Syria but did not elaborate.

 
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Summary

Israeli media Tuesday implied the army was responsible for air raids that struck a Hezbollah position on the Syria-Lebanon border, but the military held its silence.

A Lebanese security source said Israeli warplanes launched two raids late Monday against a Hezbollah position on the Lebanon-Syria border.

Israel's top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot ran the front page headline, "Foreign reports: Israeli strike in Lebanon", while referring to strikes Israel implicitly admitted carrying out against Hezbollah in Syria last year.

Other media pointed to weekend remarks by army chief Lieutenant General Benny Gantz who warned against arms transfer from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.


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