Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Israeli Planes Strike Target In Southern Syria, PM Vows 'Iron Fist' Response To Attacks

Israeli planes reported to strike target in southern Syria

Israeli warplanes on Wednesday reportedly struck a building controlled by the Syrian government near the city of Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
According to Arabic media reports, the planes bombed a target in the city of Medinat al-Ba’ath, near the border of the demilitarized zone in Syria.
It wasn’t immediately clear what purpose the building served, or whether it was occupied at the time of the strike. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the planes targeted Hezbollah operatives in the area.

The Syrian Qasioun news agency claimed that the building was an Assad government command post that may have been used for Hezbollah activities.
There was no immediate response to the reports in the Syrian official news agency and the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said it didn’t comment on reports regarding Israeli strikes in Syria.
Hezbollah reportedly denied Israel struck inside Syria, according to the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper. 
Shortly after the reported strike, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria reported that Assad government helicopters bombed the nearby towns of Umm Batna and Ajraf.
Earlier in the day, gunfire hit an army post near the Israeli town of Metulla on the Lebanon border. The IDF said it was investigating but believed the bullets to be stray fire from across the border.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marked 10 years since the Second Lebanon War with Hezbollah by warning that “if the need arises, we will respond to aggression — and the response will be powerful. Whoever thinks they will find ‘spiderwebs’ here will get… an iron fist.”

The IDF has been bolstering defenses along the northern border, expanding the network of fences and surveillance capabilities, to prepare for a possible war with Hezbollah, the Shiite group that fought a war with Israel in 2006 and has vowed to destroy the Jewish state.

Israel will offer a “powerful response” if it is attacked by terror groups Hezbollah or Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday at a ceremony marking 10 years since the Second Lebanon War.

Netanyahu described the 2006 war as “a clash between an extremist terror organization with an Islamist ideology and a free democratic Israel.”

“We are in a global battle. We are aware of the nature of the threats we face, and are preparing for any scenario,” he said at a ceremony at the Mount Herzl military cemetery.

Hezbollah and Hamas, he said, “have established forward bases of Iran on our border. Everything that has happened in the Middle East in recent years is part of the same trend: radical Islamic terror that seeks to shatter liberty and culture with its sword thrusts.

“This terror strikes not only Sarona or Otniel — it strikes in Paris and Nice, Brussels and Orlando. We are in a global campaign. Just as we are well aware of the character of the threats, so we are preparing for every contingency.”

Israel was prepared for war, he said.

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