Saturday, August 31, 2019

IDF Remains On High Alert For Hezbollah Response

As tensions remain high along Israel’s northern border, the IDF has closed the airspace to civilian flights and put the Navy on high alert for an attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel’s Northern Command has been on high alert since last week expecting a limited strike against military targets and on Saturday a convoy of artillery was seen being moved north. The Navy has also stepped up their alert and the civilian airport in Kiryat Shmona has been closed.

In addition to the reinforcement of artillery batteries, Iron Dome missile defense batteries have been deployed and leave for combat soldiers in the area has been cancelled.

The moves are part of the military’s strengthening of power and readiness in anticipation of any retaliation by the Lebanese Shiite terror group which it expects against IDF troops or a military installation along the border, but not civilians.

Last week the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes against a cell belonging to the IRGC in Syria, which it says was on its way to launch armed drones to attack targets in northern Israel. Two Hezbollah militants and an Iranian was killed in the strike. 

Two explosive laden drones crashed and exploded in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahiyeh in Beirut several hours later. The attack, which reportedly targeted a component of Hezbollah’s precision missile project, was blamed on Israel by Hezbollah and the government of Lebanon.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the area on Friday and the Head of the Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram warned that Hezbollah and Lebanon would suffer a “harsh response” to any attack.

“You should be preparing not for Hezbollah’s response against the IDF, but for their response to our response” to such an attack,  Baram said, vowing that “if an IDF soldier is so much as scratched, our response will be harsh.”

While the military believes the response by Hezbollah will be limited to the north, a Hezbollah official was quoted by Lebanese media on Friday that the retaliation will take place “deep inside Israel.”

“The stance of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has pushed the Zionist enemy to live in a state of extreme terror, panic and caution, to an extent that it has started hiding behind dummies in its military vehicles,” ex-MP Mohammed Yaghi, who is Nasrallah’s executive aide, was quoted by Naharnet as saying.

“Our decision is to strike this enemy, which has launched a direct attack on us, on a normal house in (Syria’s) Aqraba and in Beirut’s southern suburbs (through a drone explosion). This is not a mere threat but a real action after which the enemy will learn not to commit new follies,” he continued, adding that the group is prepared to respond.

“We have prepared equipment, weapons and personnel to confront the enemy and the resistance is today much stronger than the pre-2006 aggression era. We will let the enemy taste the bitterness and it will regret its deed and aggression very much. They struck deep inside and we will respond deep inside and we will have another response for their drones,” Yaghi said.

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