Israel strikes Syrian army targets after border unrest

Tuesday, 28 Jul, 2020

Local media reported an exchange of fire in an area known as Chebaa Farms, which was captured by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war and is claimed by Lebanon. "I suggest he does not repeat this mistake", he added, in an apparent reference to the blow dealt by Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

The bases in eastern, central and southern Syria, which Israel has hit in recent months, are believed to have a strong presence of Iranian-backed militias, according to intelligence sources and military defectors familiar with the locations.

The source explained that Israel had sent Hezbollah what it described as a warning against the consequences of a military retaliation.

Israeli army spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the military was "able to successfully thwart an attempt to infiltrate into Israel" by a group of armed militants. Residents in the region reported sounds of gunfire and explosion and huge clouds of smoke rising in the air.

"Hezbollah needs to know that it is playing with fire".

Neither side reported casualties during a battle that raged for over an hour, and Hezbollah denied involvement.

While Conricus did not blame the alleged infiltration attempt on Hizbullah, Israeli army Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee said the suspected operation was carried out by a "Hizbullah cell". The shell was sacked from al-Khodr village which faces Israel's Majdal Shams.

Earlier on Monday, Mr Netanyahu said: "We maintain the policy that I set years ago: we will not allow Iran to establish itself on our border".

The Hezbollah-backed government of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab is also being harshly criticized for doing too little to try to get Lebanon out of its worst economic and financial crisis in decades.

Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alternate premier and Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Israel's army chief Aviv Kohavi, during his visit.

Commenting on the U.S. interception of the Iranian passenger plane in the Syrian airspace, Sheikh Qassem emphasized that the Americans want to frustrate and deactivate the strategic pact between Iran and Syria.

"We are constantly monitoring what is happening on our northern border. We take that into account".

Israeli soldiers are shown Monday in front of an Iron Dome defence system battery, created to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, in the Hula Vally in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon. "All activities in the open space are prohibited, including agricultural work, resorts and tourism", the IDF said.