Israel claims Syria air strike, says hunt for Hezbollah tunnels over

Leroy Wright
January 14, 2019

He said this entailed "hundreds" of attacks over the past several years of Syria's civil war, in which Iran and Hezbollah have backed Damascus against rebels and Islamist insurgents.

"Just in the last 36 hours did the [Israel Air Force] attack Iranian warehouses with Iranian weapons at the global airport in Damascus", the premier said. While they have at times traded blows within Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the Israel-Lebanon border has mostly been quiet.

On Tuesday, Eisenkot will be replace by Maj.

"We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit", Eisenkot stated, confessing to carrying out strikes on a "near-daily" basis. In 2018 alone, he said Israel's air force dropped 2,000 bombs in Syria.

On Saturday, Syria said it filed complaints with the U.N. Security Council and with U.N. Secretary-General Antonia Guterres over Israel's alleged airstrikes.

Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said the final tunnel was the largest one discovered so far - running hundreds of metres from underneath a Lebanese home and deep into Israeli territory.

The army said its discovery marked the end of the operation launched on 4 December and that the last tunnel would be destroyed in the coming days.

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"According to our intelligence and our assessment of the situation there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel".

The military said the tunnel ran nearly 800 metres, was fitted with a rail system and had a wide a passageway that allowed for the movement of equipment and a large number of forces.

Conricus said there were no more tunnels reaching Israel from Lebanon but the army was still monitoring "facilities" being dug by Hezbollah within Lebanese territory.

The news comes amid the conclusion of the Israel Defence Forces' (IDF) Operation Northern Shield, aimed at demolishing secret tunnelsdug that were by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel.

UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, was informed of the latest tunnel, Conricus said.

While the Syrian government repeatedly accuses the Jewish state of constantly violating its sovereignty and aiding the terrorists by their raids in the country's airspace, Eisenkot claimed the Israeli actions are justified - and that, anyway, neither Damascus nor Tehran can do anything about it.

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.

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