Israel ends military operation at Lebanese border
- Author: Jon Douglas Jan 14, 2019,
Jan 14, 2019, 1:27
The Syrian state news agency said Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles toward the Damascus area on Friday, triggering Syrian air defense that shut down a lot of them.
Netanyahu said Sunday: "The accumulated number of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to act against Iran in Syria".
Israel said today it had completed a search for Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon after uncovering at least six of the passages dug secretly under the border by the Iranian-backed guerrillas.
"We have operated with impressive success in thwarting Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, in the framework of which the military has struck hundreds of times against Iranian and Hezbollah targets", Mr Netanyahu said.
In October, Moscow equipped Damascus with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles, days after Israeli fighter jets attacked Syrian targets using a Russian surveillance plane flying nearby as a shield and hence misleading the Syrian air defenses to shoot it down. It was the first Israeli jet to be downed since 1982 and Hezbollah championed it as the start of "a new strategic phase". But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel. Denmark-based Lebanese journalist Jerry Maher, who is a fierce opponent of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah, is apparently the one responsible for the reports about Nasrallah's medical condition. While they have at times traded blows within Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the Israel-Lebanon border has mostly been quiet. Israel rarely comments on its operations so Mr Netanyahu's admission is rare.
Citing intelligence assessments, Israel's outgoing armed forces chief, Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot, told a local TV station on Saturday that the tunnels were prepared in secret, over a period of years.
Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria on May 10, 2018.