Israel warns Lebanon, Syria against attacks
The Daily Star/Jan. 24, 2015 |
JERUSALEM: Israel warned Lebanon and Syria Friday not to allow any attacks on Israel from their soil, hoping to avoid reprisals for an Israeli airstrike in Syria that killed an Iranian general and a senior Hezbollah fighter. “Israel will see the governments, regimes and organizations beyond its northern border as responsible for what emanates from their territory,” Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement. “[Israel] will exact a price for any harm inflicted on Israeli sovereignty, civilians and soldiers.”
The strike on Syria’s Qunaitra killed six Hezbollah fighters, including commander Mohammad Issa and Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh. Iranian Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was also killed in the attack.
Fears of retaliation by Lebanon’s Hezbollah or other groups have risen since Sunday’s attack, prompting Israel to move troops and equipment toward its northern borders with Lebanon and Syria. Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is expected to comment on the strike in a speech on Jan. 30 during a memorial to honor the fallen fighters.
Observers believe that Hezbollah would eventually hit back, particularly after remarks made by its leader few days before the attack.
In his interview last week with Al-Mayadeen satellite news channel, Nasrallah said “the frequent attacks on different sites in Syria is a major breach. We consider that those hostilities target the resistance axis.”“[Retaliation] is an open issue … it could happen any time,” he said. Hezbollah’s last military confrontation with Israel took place in summer 2006, when the Jewish state launched a nearly monthlong war against Lebanon which killed around 1,200 Lebanese, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Israel Warns Lebanon, Syria against Any Reprisal from their Soil
Naharnet 23.01.15/Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned on Friday Hizbullah and Damascus not to launch any attack on the Jewish state, stressing that Lebanon and Syria will be held responsible for any retaliatory attack. “Israel will consider governments, regimes and organizations beyond its northern border responsible for any attack from their territories,” Yaalon said in a statement. He expressed hope that the region avoids reprisals for the Israeli airstrike that killed a high-ranking Iranian commander and six Hizbullah fighters, including Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh — a top operative who was assassinated in 2008 in Damascus in a bombing that the party blamed on Israel. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral Monday in Beirut. Yaalon vowed that his country will avenge any “harm inflicted on Israeli sovereignty, civilians and soldiers.”Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is expected to make a speech on January 30 during a popular rally to mourn the party fighters who were killed in the Israeli airstrike in Syria’s Quneitra on Sunday, and reveal his party’s stance and response. Israel and Hizbullah are bitter enemies and fought a bloody month-long war in the summer of 2006. Since Syria’s civil war began in March 2011, Israel has reportedly carried out several airstrikes in Syria that have targeted sophisticated weapons systems, including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles, believed to be destined for Hizbullah. Nasrallah recently said Hizbullah reserves the right to retaliate for those attacks. He also reiterated that the party may retaliate at any time for the assassination of the elder Mughniyeh.
Hizbullah Denies Report on Changes in Rules of Engagement with Israel
Naharnet 23.01.15/Hizbullah denied on Thursday media reports about “changes in the rules of engagement with Israel” after last Sunday’s Quneitra raid which killed six members of the group, while also denying that its response will happen outside Lebanese territory.
“We deny the claims that were attributed to a so-called source who is close to the party about the situation in the region,” the party said in statement, dismissing a report by the Reuters news agency. The agency had earlier quoted an alleged “security source close to Hizbullah” as saying that “the enemy has approached the red lines regarding the security conflict with Hizbullah, and the rules of the game have changed.” The same source noted that “if Hizbullah does not respond to the raid, it will appear as if it’s drowning in the quagmire of Syria’s conflict and has lost its ability to respond, which is not true.””Until now, the rule of the game has been responding from outside Lebanon, unless the Israelis pushed the war into Lebanon,” he added. He also stressed that “Hizbullah wants to avoid an all-out war.” In light of the report, Hizbullah reminded in its statement of its “firm media policy which does not rely on ‘sources’ to announce stances.” “The report does not concern us at all,” the statement added.