Tag Archives: Hezbollah

War Monitor: Israeli Night Raids ‘Killed’ 23.

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Israel routinely carries out raids in Syria, mostly against targets affiliated with Iran in what it says is a bid to prevent its arch-foe from securing a further foothold along its borders.

Israeli night raids targeting arms depots and military positions in eastern Syria have killed at least seven Syrian soldiers and 16 allied fighters, in the deadliest raids since 2018, a war monitor said Wednesday.


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The Israeli air force carried out more than 18 attacks against multiple targets in an area stretching from the eastern town of Deir Az Zor to the al-Bukamal desert at the Syrian-Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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The raids killed seven Syrian soldiers and 16 non-Syrian militia fighters whose nationalities were not immediately known, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Paramilitaries belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and the Fatimid Brigade, which is made up of pro-Iranian Afghan fighters, operate in the region, the Observatory said.

The raids also wounded 28 troops and militiamen, some of them critically.

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A senior US intelligence official with knowledge of the attack told The Associated Press that the raids were carried out with intelligence provided by the United States and targeted a series of warehouses in Syria that were being used as a part of the pipeline to store and stage Iranian weapons.

The official said the warehouses also served as a pipeline for components that supports Iran’s nuclear program.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported the attacks but without giving further details.

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“At 1:10am [23:10 GMT], the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial assault on the town of Deir Ezzor and the Al Bukamal region,” SANA said, citing a military source.

“The results of the aggression are currently being verified,” it added.

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Local news source DeirEzzor24 said a number of warehouses and sites belonging to pro-Iranian militias were hit in the area.

“They burnt Iranian positions in Deir Ezzor,” said Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based activist from Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province who runs an activist collective that reports on news in the border area.

Routine raids
The attacks were the second wave of Israeli raids in Syria in less than a week.

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The last air raids on January 7 were aimed at positions in southern Syria and south of the capital Damascus, killing three pro-Iran fighters.

According to Israeli media, the area that came under fire has reportedly been struck by Israel on more than one occasion in recent years as it houses a number of bases used by Iranian-backed groups.

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on February 24, 2020, reportedly shows Syrian air defence intercepting an Israeli missile in the sky over the Syrian capital Damascus. [File: AFP]

The area is also key to a land corridor for Tehran that links Iran across Iraq and Syria through Lebanon, which Iran uses to smuggle in weapons and rockets, mainly to the Hezbollah armed group.

Iran has members of its own military as well as fighters from a variety of nationalities fighting with militias it supports deployed across Syria.

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Israel hit about 50 targets in Syria in 2020, according to an annual report released in late December by the Israeli military.

The Israeli army has carried out hundreds of air and missile raids on Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, singling out Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Hamas, Hezbollah chiefs meet to discuss UAE-Israeli ties

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Meeting comes after August’s agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalise diplomatic relations.

Leaders of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and the Palestinian Hamas group met to discuss diplomatic normalisation between Israel and Arab countries, the movement said.

On Sunday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniya was given a hero’s welcome at Ain al-Helweh, Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp.

Hezbollah-run Al-Manar television reported earlier that Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed Shia Hezbollah movement, and Haniya stressed the “stability” of the “axis of resistance” against Israel.

They discussed “political and military developments in Palestine, Lebanon and the region” and “the dangers to the Palestinian cause”, including “Arab plans for normalisation” with Israel, Al-Manar said.

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The meeting comes after an August 13 announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to normalise ties.

While the United States-backed diplomatic drive aims to boost a regional alliance against Iran, Palestinians have condemned it as a “stab in the back” as they remain under occupation and do not have their own state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country is in talks with other Arab and Muslim leaders now about normalising relations, following the deals with the UAE and, decades ago, Egypt and Jordan.

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First visit in 30 years
Haniya arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday, on his first visit to the country in nearly 30 years, for direct and video-conference talks with other Palestinian groups that oppose Israel’s diplomatic initiative.

Haniya, who heads the political bureau of Hamas, the movement that controls the Gaza Strip, arrived in Ain al-Helweh under the protection of Hamas members and camp guards.

Head of Hamas Ismail Haniya, left, and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah meet in Beirut, Lebanon [Hezbollah Press Office/Anadolu]

Before a cheering crowd of hundreds in Ain al-Helweh, near the southern coastal city of Sidon, including refugees who travelled to see him from other camps, Haniya praised his movement’s military capacity and shrugged off the UAE-Israel normalisation deal.

“Not long ago, our rockets only reached [targets] metres from Gaza’s borders. Today, the resistance in Gaza possesses rockets that can reach Tel Aviv and beyond Tel Aviv,” he said.

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As for normalisation between Israel and Arab countries, that “does not represent the people, neither their conscience, nor their history nor their heritage”, Haniya said, quoted in a Hamas statement.

Israel’s military has in recent weeks targeted Hamas in the Gaza Strip and what it says have been Hezbollah gunmen along its northern border with Lebanon.

It also regularly launches air attacks in war-torn Syria against what it says are Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian fighters fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Nasrallah has been living in secret locations since Hezbollah’s devastating 2006 war with Israel and only makes rare public appearances. He said in 2014 that he often changes his place of residence.


#Newsworthy…

‘Hezbollah, playing with inferno’ – Israeli PM, Netanyahu says after allege Border clash

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hezbollah was “playing with fire” after border clashes on Monday, in which the Lebanese Shiite group denied all involvement.

Netanyahu insisted that Hezbollah and the Lebanese government “carry responsibility” for the attempt by gunmen to infiltrate Israeli territory, which resulted in an exchange of gunfire but no reported casualties.

“Hezbollah is playing with fire and our response will be very strong,” the Israeli premier said.


#Newsworthy…