Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel says it has completed hunt for Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon

Israel says it has completed hunt for Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon

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

Confirming a Friday night sortie in Syria, Netanyahu said Israel's air force had "struck Iran's warehouses, containing Iranian arms, in Damascus worldwide airport".

"In this framework, the IDF attacked Iranian and Hezbollah targets hundreds of times", the prime minister said.

"We'll continue our engineering actions along the border and tracking Hezbollah's underground activities".

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

Long wary of publicity around its operations against Iran-linked targets on its northern front, Israel has lifted the veil in recent days - a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tensions with Syria's big-power backer, Russia.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Sunday the final tunnel was the largest discovered so far, running hundreds of meters (yards) from under a Lebanese home and deep into Israeli territory.

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However, Israel's outgoing military chief of staff Lieutenant-General Gadi Eisenkot revealed in a recent New York Times interview that Israel had "struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit".

Hezbollah has not commented on the tunnels, the existence of several of which has been confirmed by Unifil peacekeepers.

A month-long war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

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

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

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.

Israel says Iran is seeking to establish a military presence in Syria that could threaten Israeli security by trying to transfer advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon. But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

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