Netanyahu confirms Israeli strikes targeting 'Iranian warehouses' in Syria
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jan 14, 2019,
Jan 14, 2019, 1:29
A man stands next to a drill as Israeli military personnel continue work on exposing and thwarting cross-border tunnels dug from Lebanon into Israel near the town of Metula December 19, 2018.
Israel and the United Nations say the tunnels violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.
"All of the tunnels have been exposed and have either already been destroyed or are going to be destroyed", military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
Long wary of publicity around its operations against Iran-linked targets on its northern front, Israel has been lifting the veil in recent days - a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tension with Syria's big-power backer, Russia. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the attack was "broader than usual", and targeted areas stretching from the eastern Damascus suburb of Dmeir to Kiswa, south of the capital, and all the way to the western village of Dimas near the Lebanese border. Israel, coordinating with United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon, said it sought no escalation.
The find is a part of Operation Northern Shield aimed at detecting and destroying what Israel calls a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels.
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Israel alleges Hezbollah had planned to use the tunnels to kidnap or kill its civilians or soldiers, and to seize a slice of Israeli territory in the event of any hostilities.
Israel has until now generally refrained from commenting about the strikes for fear of triggering a reaction and being drawn into the deadly fighting in neighbouring Syria's civil war.
Israel says all anti-tunnel operations have taken place within its territory, and the highly publicised mission has gone ahead without drawing a military response from Hezbollah.
Israeli analysts see the operation as one of Eisenkot's important achievements.
It was 55 metres deep and ran 800 metres inside Lebanese territory and also "dozens" of metres into Israel, he said.