Hezbollah claims destroying Israeli military vehilce

Orient Net 2019-09-01 15:24:00

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The Israeli military on Sunday said that Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists fired a barrage of anti-tank missiles at an Israeli army base, scoring a number of direct hits on Israeli targets. Israel responded with heavy artillery fire toward targets in southern Lebanon.

The sudden burst of violence raised the prospect of a wider round of fighting between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The enemies, which fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a stalemate, have appeared to be on a collision course in recent weeks amid a series of covert and overt Israeli military strikes and Hezbollah vows of revenge.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri held telephone calls with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as an adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron urging Washington and Paris as well as the international community to intervene in the volatile situation.

Israel considers the Iranian regime to be its greatest enemy, and Iranian regime-backed Hezbollah to be its most immediate military threat. Hezbollah has an experienced group that has been fighting alongside the militias of Bashar Assad in Syria's war, and it is believed to possess an arsenal of some 130,000 missiles and rockets.

Throughout the Syrian war, Israel has acknowledged carrying out scores of airstrikes in Syria aimed at preventing alleged Iranian regime arms transfers to Hezbollah. But in recent weeks, Israel is believed to have struck Iranian or Hezbollah targets in Iraq and Lebanon as well.

In a speech Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of fomenting the violence.

"A new empire has arisen, the goal of which is to defeat us. They dispatch proxies," he said. "We are dealing with extremist Islam led by various elements, but in the end, the biggest threat to our existence comes from Iranian regime."

Despite Israel and Hezbollah's hostility, they have largely refrained from direct fighting for the past 13 years.

The military said it had encouraged residents near the northern border with Lebanon to stay indoors and ordered public bomb shelters to open.