Saturday, May 26, 2018

Report: Israel Attacked A Hezbollah Base In Syria Thursday, Leader Of Hezbollah: U.S. Sanctions On Iran 'Will Not Yield Results'

Report: Israel attacked a Hezbollah base in Syria

The Syrian Al-Marsad organization for human rights reported on Friday that Thursday's attack on the Dabaa military airport in central Syria was aimed at Hezbollah members and militias supporting the regime. According to the report, six strong explosions, allegedly related to missile strikes, were heard in the region of Homs, near the Lebanese border.  Syrian air defense systems reportedly attempted to intercept the missiles. So far, no fatalities have been reported. Al-Marsad did not state whether the attempt was successful.

The report further claimed that the missile attack was carried out by Israel.

Earlier on Friday, the Lebanese army announced that on Thursday, May 24, five Israeli Air Force planes circled above Lebanese territory for some 15 hours altogether. According to the report, most of the flights took place in the southern and northern regions of Lebanon, but one of them was mentioned to have circled above "all regions of the country." No offensive action or operation was said to have been carried out by the aircraft.

On Thursday, Syrian state media said a military airport near Homs had come under missile attack which was repelled by its air defense systems.

"One of our military airports in the central region was exposed to hostile missile aggression, and our air defense systems confronted the attack and prevented it from achieving its aim," state news agency SANA said.

SANA earlier reported sounds of explosions heard near the Dabaa airport, about 12 miles southwest of the central Syrian city of Homs and 6 miles from the Lebanese border.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner, when asked about reports of the attack, said the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria did not carry it out and the coalition does not target Syrian government positions.

British-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops belonging to Hezbollah and other militias allied to Syrian President Bashar Assad are stationed in the Dabaa military airport. It had no information on casualties.

Earlier reports on Thursday from the Syrian opposition pointed to an Israeli attack on a Syrian Revolutionary Guard air missile base at the Dabaa airport west of Homs, by the Lebanese border.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment.

In recent months Israel has carried out several airstrikes in Syria, targeting Iranian and Iranian-linked targets.  Israeli leaders have repeatedly asserted that Jerusalem would not allow Iran to gain a foothold in southern Syria.

In a speech given to mark the 2000 Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon Hezbollah leader Nasrallah boasted that "Israel always threatens."

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, spoke out on television to mark the 18th anniversary of Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon.  

In 2000, Israel unilaterally pulled out of southern Lebanon where for nearly 20 years it maintained a security zone.

Hezbollah started its existence as a Guerrilla organization combating Israel’s presence in Lebanon. 

Claiming that Hezbollah does not seek a confrontation with Israel, Nasrallah went on to say that he's confident Hezbollah will win should a war with Israel break out, reports Israeli news site Walla

"Israel always threatens," he claimed, yet in our closed meetings we "always talk about an assured victory against Israel in case of war." 

Nasrallah also lamented that Israeli jets were able to fly via Lebanese airspace en route to missions in Syria on Thursday, and asked "Where is our [Lebanese] sovereignty?" Reported Maariv.    

While discussing the new US sanctions against Iran on Friday, Nasrallah claimed they "will cause harm, but will not yield results," Reuters reported. 

Nasrallah said that the new sanctions target the Lebanese people and companies, due to trade relations between the two countries and the damage caused to Lebanese firms who will have to make a choice between dealing with Iran or the US. 

He added that the sanctions will not impact the formation of a new government in Lebanon.

He also said the Lebanese government was responsible for people affected by the sanctions and must not turn its back on them.

Saad al-Hariri was designated as Lebanon's next prime minister on Thursday and claimed all parties agreed that a national unity government must be formed as quickly as possible.

Hezbollah intends to secure three cabinet seats in the next coalition government. This would be an increase from the two portfolios it held in the outgoing cabinet of 30 ministers, a senior official familiar with the group's thinking told Reuters.

Parliament re-elected the Hezbollah-allied Shi'ite politician Nabih Berri as its speaker on Wednesday, extending his tenure in the post he has held since 1992. Another Hezbollah ally, Elie Ferzli, was elected as his deputy. 

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