Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Israel says it has completed hunt for Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon

‘We struck thousands of targets’: IDF chief of staff on Israel’s ‘near-daily’ strikes in Syria Tunnel used for militant attacks had stairs and rail system, Israel says
Jeannette Daniel | 14 January, 2019, 08:41

Israel acknowledged on Sunday that it carried out a weekend air strike on what it called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, and that it also completed a hunt for cross-border tunnels dug by Tehran-allied Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.

Netanyahu added that Israel had attacked Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria hundreds of times.

"The accumulation of recent attacks shows that we're more determined than ever to act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised", the prime minister's office said.

Only recently has it begun to speak publicly about thwarting the weapons smuggling from Iran through Styria into Lebanon.

He said this was part of a Hezbollah plan to send as many as 1,500 fighters to infiltrate Israeli border communities during any future war.

"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.

A sixth tunnel was found on Saturday, which infiltrated a few dozen metres into Israeli territory. In tandem we'll seize a number of locations in Lebanese territory from which Hezbollah digs tunnels that have not yet crossed into Israel.

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"According to our intelligence, there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels into Israel".

"We have achieved the goal that we set out to achieve", he said. Israel reported the tunnel's discovery to UNIFIL, the United Nations observer force responsible for ensuring that southern Lebanon remains free of hostile forces.

Neither Lebanon nor Hezbollah has commented directly on the end of the operation.

In the past days, Eisenkot gave a series of interviews with both Israeli and foreign media, warning Iran against entrenching itself militarily in Syria.

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.

Israel has until now generally refrained from commenting about the strikes for fear of triggering a reaction and being drawn into the deadly fighting in neighbouring Syria's civil war.

In the wake of the tunnel discoveries, Israel has asked the global community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and launch action against its state-within-a-state operation in Lebanon.

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