Benjamin Netanyahu admits Israel to blame for Damascus strikes

14 January, 2019, 08:42 | Author: Myra Gill
  • 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

Netanyahuy said the Israel Defense Forces has attacked hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

"The accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria, just as we promised", he added.

In an interview with The New York Times, the general said that Israel had carried out attacks on "thousands of [Iranian] targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit".

"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.

Netanyahu, visiting the northern border later on Sunday, put the number at "between 1,000 and 2,000" Hezbollah fighters.

"According to our assessments, there are no longer any tunnels crossing into Israel", military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

"Overnight, the air force also attacked on the southern front against Hamas targets in Gaza and this morning we announced the exposure of an additional tunnel, a main tunnel, perhaps the most important, that crossed the border into our territory".


The Israeli military said a sixth and final tunnel was found on Saturday, 55 metres (yards) deep and reaching "a few tens of metres" into Israel from 800 metres within Lebanon.

Lt Col Conricus said: "We have achieved the goal that we set out to achieve a month and a half ago".

It is believed the tunnels were allowing militants to sneak across the border and carry out attacks.

Hezbollah has not commented on the tunnels, the existence of several of which was confirmed by United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon.

The powerful Shiite Hezbollah group, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the tunnels.

In the past days, Eisenkot gave a series of interviews with both Israeli and foreign media, warning Iran against entrenching itself militarily in Syria. It said the Iranian-backed organization Hezbollah dug. But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

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.

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