Published: Sun, August 25, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel attacks Lebanon's Hezbollah, as part of its expanding anti-Iran campaign

Israel attacks Lebanon's Hezbollah, as part of its expanding anti-Iran campaign

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has described the crash of two Israeli reconnaissance drones over Beirut as a violation and "aggression" against Lebanese sovereignty. The Lebanese army said that one Israeli drone fell and another exploded at 02:30 am local time (2330 GMT), causing only material damage.

Just hours before, the Israeli military said it had been able late Saturday to thwart an attempt by an Iranian force to attack northern Israel with drones using explosives.

In the first such incident in more than a decade, one drone fell and second exploded before dawn near the ground and caused some damage to Hezbollah's media center in the southern Dahiyeh suburbs, Reuters quoted a Hezbollah official as saying.

This comes on the heels of reports that IDF "suicide drones" targeted Hezbollah's compounds in Beirut.

"The first drone did not explode and it is now in the possession of Hezbollah which is analysing it".

When asked about Hezbollah's response, Afif said it will be announced by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah who is scheduled to speak today during a ceremony marking the second anniversary of Lebanon's Second Liberation. Rezaei, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, said "the defenders of Syria and Iraq will soon give an answer" to recent attacks by Israel and the United States. Previously, they fought in the 2006 war that saw over 1,000 Lebanese civilians killed, with much of the country's infrastructure destroyed by Israeli bombardments.

Hostilities have spilled over into Syria, where Hezbollah - like Israeli's arch-foe Iran - is fighting on the side of the government of Bashar al-Assad.

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In recent days, US officials have said that Israeli strikes have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq, in what would be a significant expansion of Israel's campaign targeting Iranian military entrenchment in the region.

Lebanon and Israel are technically still at war, and Beirut regularly accuses its Jewish neighbour of violating its airspace with planes and drones.

There was no immediate Israeli comment on the drone incident or Hezbollah's remarks.

Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in Syria, majority against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

Syrian state TV said the country's air defenses had responded to "hostile" targets over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.

In a tweet, Mr Netanyahu said: "I reiterate: Iran has no immunity anywhere".

"The army arrived immediately and cordoned off the area where the two drones fell", it said. In recent weeks, that campaign's footprint has expanded to include Iraq, where Israel was accused of bombing an Iranian-controlled base near Baghdad, and now Lebanon. "Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression". Israel views Iran as its greatest threat and has said it will not tolerate a permanent Iranian presence in Syria or the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

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