Hezbollah Threatens Response to Air Strike by Israel

On Wednesday, Hezbollah the militant group based in Lebanon said it would respond to an air strike by Israel that hit a base near the border with Syria Monday night.

The aggression, said a Hezbollah statement, is a blatant assault against Lebanon and its territory and sovereignty. It continued by saying the group would determine a place and time and a proper method to respond to the strike by Israel.

The air strike, which has not been confirmed by Israel, hit near the border of Syria and Lebanon near Janta village in the Bekaa Valley. Hezbollah denied published reports that the air strike had targeted rocket or artillery bases and announced no casualties had been suffered.

Security sources in Lebanon said they believe an attack had taken place in Syria, but the reference by Hezbollah to Lebanon sovereignty suggested the strike hit in Lebanon.

Planes from Israel have hit areas along the border on the side of Syria on several occasions over the past two years, but if it is confirmed, the air strike on Lebanon soil would be just the first since the 2011 Syrian unrest started.

The border between Syria and eastern Lebanon is frequently a route smugglers use and security sources have said the target the strikes made by Israel might have been vehicles carrying weapons that were in route to the Hezbollah.

Israel has claimed that amidst the chaos due to the civil war in Syria, weapons could be given to Hezbollah, which is helping President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against Syrian opposition groups.

A military chief in Israel on Sunday spoke of those fears again, just a day prior to the air strike, in an accusation against Iran, an ally of Assad and a patron of Hezbollah. The military chief claimed Iran was moving weapons to Hezbollah.

On Tuesday, a television channel in Israel broadcast what it claimed were images from a satellite of the locations that were hit, which appeared to indicate missile silos being prepared for weapons.

Lebanese army officials reported that four planes from the Israeli military flew across northern Lebanon Monday night before heading southwest toward the Mediterranean close the southern border. Israeli jets have regularly flown through Lebanon’s airspace without receiving permission.

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