Israeli drone strikes hit a military position belonging to an Iranian-backed Palestinian faction in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley near the Syrian border early on Monday, the group said. An official in the Palestinian faction said the strikes were an Israeli “provocation” only hours after Hezbollah’s leader warned his Iran-backed movement was preparing a response to an Israeli drone attack in Beirut on Sunday.
Since Saturday, a series of attacks have targeted Iranian-backed militias in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, stoking fears of a regional escalation. The militias, which function as Iranian proxies, have blamed the attacks on Israel, which has stepped up its efforts to curtail the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East.
On Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was plotting attacks against Israel and urged the international community to “act immediately so that Iran halts these attacks.” The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, also vowed in his Sunday speech to bring down any Israeli drones that come into Lebanon’s airspace.
The position hit in the early hours on Monday belongs to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and did not cause injuries, a Lebanese security source and local media had said overnight. An Israeli military spokesperson told Reuters: “We do not comment on foreign reports”. Before dawn on Sunday, two drones — which the Lebanese army and Hezbollah said were Israeli — crashed in the Hezbollah-dominated southern suburbs of Beirut.
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14 September, 2019