Israeli air force accused of striking Palestinian base in Lebanon in act likened to 'declaration of war'

The Japan Times

BEIRUT – Israeli drones bombed a Palestinian base in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria early Monday amid rising tensions in the Middle East, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency and a Palestinian official said. The strike came a day after an alleged Israeli drone crashed in a stronghold of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in southern Beirut while another exploded and crashed nearby. Lebanese President Michel Aoun told the U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubis, that the attacks violate a U.N. Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. "What happened is equal to a declaration of war and gives us the right to defend our sovereignty, independence, and the safety of our land," Aoun said in comments released by his office Monday. "We are people who seek peace and not war, and we don't accept that anyone to threatens us though any means."


Israeli army says multiple targets were hit by fire from Lebanon

The Japan Times

JERUSALEM – The Israeli military on Sunday said that Lebanese militants 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 bitter 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 U.S. 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 claims to uncover Hezbollah missile plant in 'civilian locations' in Lebanon's Bakaa Valley

The Japan Times

JERUSALEM – The Israeli military said Tuesday the militant group Hezbollah and Iran have built a precision-missile factory in neighboring Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. The army issued a statement saying that "in fear of strikes" by Israel, Hezbollah had moved key equipment from the site to "civilian locations in Beirut." It didn't specify when this happened. The military said the factory was of "superior importance" to Hezbollah. An official, speaking anonymously under military rules, said the factory is operational but missing major components.


Hezbollah at the center of Lebanon's current crisis

FOX News

BEIRUT – The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is at the center of the recent crisis that has gripped Lebanon and rattled a region already rife with conflict. When Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri declared his resignation in a surprise announcement from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, he blamed Hezbollah for imposing itself on the country and doing the bidding of its main backer, Iran, in Lebanon and elsewhere in the region. The one-time local Shiite guerrilla army that rallied Lebanon's Shiites and battled Israel -- even earning admiration from the region's Sunnis-- has turned into a powerful, well-armed group caught up in the Iran-Saudi rivalry that is shaping the Middle East. Saudi Arabia singled Hezbollah out, accusing it of declaring war on the kingdom, just as the U.S. ratcheted up its pressure on Iran and imposed new sanctions on Hezbollah, which it considers a terrorist group. Here is a look at the 35-year old militant group, its sources of power and regional role.


Iran-backed Hezbollah, now major regional power, at center of Lebanon's current crisis

The Japan Times

BEIRUT – The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is at the center of the recent crisis that has gripped Lebanon and rattled a region already rife with conflict. When Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri declared his resignation in a surprise announcement from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, he blamed Hezbollah for imposing itself on the country and doing the bidding of its main backer, Iran, in Lebanon and elsewhere in the region. The one-time local Shiite guerrilla army that rallied Lebanon's Shiites and battled Israel -- even earning admiration from the region's Sunnis-- has turned into a powerful, well-armed group caught up in the Iran-Saudi rivalry that is shaping the Middle East. Saudi Arabia singled Hezbollah out, accusing it of declaring war on the kingdom, just as the U.S. ratcheted up its pressure on Iran and imposed new sanctions on Hezbollah, which it considers a terrorist group. Hezbollah was formed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 1982 to fight Israel's invasion of Beirut.