Friday, 18 January, 2019

Netanyahu: Israel conducted airstrikes on Iranian weapons in Syria

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot speaks at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the defense ministry's headquarters in Tel Aviv ‘We struck thousands of targets’: IDF chief of staff on Israel’s ‘near-daily’ strikes in Syria
Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2019, 08:40

Syrian state media said at the time of the attack that the damage was limited to a hit on a warehouse at Damascus airport.

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.

"In the past 48 hours, Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the Damascus International Airport".

Israel launched "Operation Northern Shield" early last month to detect and destroy what it called a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels aimed for militants to sneak across the border, capture territory and stage devastating attacks.

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

Syria filed complaints with the UN Security Council over the airstrikes, the Times of Israel reported.

It rarely publicly confirms such strikes, though outgoing military chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot has spoken of them in interviews in recent days.

Eisenkot, who will step down on Tuesday, will be replaced by Maj.

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Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said the final tunnel was the largest one discovered so far - running hundreds of metres from underneath a Lebanese home and deep into Israeli territory.

"Hezbollah's operational plan was to use the tunnels weapon to infiltrate many fighters, between 1,000-2,000 terrorists, into the Galilee to seize communities here".

Under Eisenkot's command, Netanyahu said the IDF made "great achievements", but added that there "was much more work to be done, which we will do". Israel reported the tunnel's discovery to UNIFIL, the United Nations observer force responsible for ensuring that southern Lebanon remains free of hostile forces.

Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006.

Israel has long called for a crackdown on the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a heavily armed mini-army that is believed to possess an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost all of Israel.

Although there are more tunnels on the Lebanese side of the border, the military says this effectively marks the end of the operation.

Israel has pledged to prevent its enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where it is backing President Bashar Assad's regime alongside Russian Federation and Hezbollah.