Israel says it has completed hunt for Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon

13 January, 2019, 14:54 | Author: Carlos George
  • Syrian air defences intercept 'missiles' near Damascus: State media

It comes as Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare public acknowledgement at his cabinet meeting that Israel was behind a strike on an Iranian weapons storage facility at the Damascus International Airport.

"Two areas hosting military positions of Iranian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement have been targeted", the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the attack was broader than usual, targeting areas ranging from the eastern Damascus suburb of Dmeir to Kiswa, south of the capital, all the way to the village of Dimas, in the west near the Lebanon border.

After previously reporting the discovery of five tunnels, the Israeli military said another had been found on Saturday, 55 metres (yards) deep and reaching "a few tens of metres" into Israel from a point 800 meters within Lebanon.

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Last month, Israel launched an operation to detect and destroy what was described as a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels, and officials say the latest discovery brings the mission to an end. Israel, coordinating with United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon said it sought no escalation.

In the wake of its discoveries, Israel has asked the global community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and begin to act against its state-within-a-state operation in Lebanon. "The latest strikes prove that we are determined to act against Iran in Syria", the premier said, according to Israeli radio Kan.

The powerful Shiite Hezbollah group, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the tunnels. In a New York Times interview published on Friday Eisenkot said that Israel "has struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit" as part of a shadow showdown with Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force.

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria on May 10, 2018.

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