Israel says mission on Lebanon border ends as last Hezbollah tunnel found

Israel says mission on Lebanon border ends as last Hezbollah tunnel found

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged on Sunday Israel's weekend attack on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, and said it had also completed a hunt for cross-border tunnels dug by Tehran-allied Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

"Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing Iranian weapons in the Damascus global airport", Netanyahu said on Sunday at the start of a cabinet meeting, according to his office.

Israel normally doesn't confirm individual airstrikes in Syria, unless they are raids against Iranian- and Hezbollah-linked targets in the country.

But recently Israel has spoken publicly about thwarting the weapons smuggling into Lebanon and Mr Netanyahu had said "we are committed more than ever to act against Iran in Syria". He will be replaced on Tuesday by Maj.

Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006.

The latest tunnel, found on Saturday, began in the Lebanese village of Ramyeh, some 800 metres (yards) away from Israel, the army said.

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"We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit", Eisenkot stated, confessing to carrying out strikes on a "near-daily" basis.

Citing intelligence assessments, Israel's outgoing armed forces chief, Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot, told a local TV station on Saturday that Hezbollah had planned to use the tunnels to spirit "between 1,000 and 1,500" guerrillas into Israeli border communities for shock attacks in a future war. Conricus said the United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, was updated on the latest development.

Eisenkot also revealed the government approved his shift in strategy in January 2017, stepping up airstrikes in Syria. In tandem we'll seize a number of locations in Lebanese territory from which Hezbollah digs tunnels that have not yet crossed into Israel.

In the wake of the tunnel discoveries, Israel has asked the worldwide community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and launch action against its state-within-a-state operation in Lebanon.

The operation had raised concerns that Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shia group and avowed enemy of Israel, would respond and spark a new conflict between them, but the border has remained calm throughout, AFP said.

Israel has called on the global community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and act against the state within a state operation in Lebanon. But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

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