Israel says all Hezbollah cross-border tunnels found

Lamar Ellis
January 14, 2019

Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed today that Israel had carried out an air strike on Iranian weapons in Syria on Friday, in a rare public confirmation of such attacks.

Netanyahu added that Israel had attacked Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria hundreds of times, AFP news agency reported.

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 been taking action with impressive success to arrest Iran's military entrenchment in Syria", Netanyahu told his cabinet in televised remarks.

"The Israel Defense Forces has attacked hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets".

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

He claimed the tunnel included stairs, a rail system, and a passageway to allow equipment and forces through.

"According to our assessments, there are no longer any tunnels crossing into Israel", military spokesman Lt. -Col.

"We have achieved the goal that we set out to achieve a month and a half ago", he said.

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Israel and the United Nations say the tunnels violate a ceasefire resolution made after a 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has not commented on the tunnels, the existence of several of which has been confirmed by Unifil peacekeepers.

Neither Lebanon nor Hezbollah has commented directly on the end of the operation.

Israel has pledged to prevent its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where it is backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime alongside Russian Federation and Hezbollah.

Israel has long called for a crackdown on the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a heavily armed mini-army that is believed to possess an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost all of 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.

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.

A month-long war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

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