UPDATE: Israeli military said on Sunday anti-tank missiles from Lebanon targeted an army base and vehicles and that it responded with fire into southern Lebanon.
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said its fighters destroyed an Israeli military vehicle, killing or wounding those inside. No word yet from the Israeli military on any casualties.
August 31, 2019 The Israeli military remains on high alert Saturday, as it continues to brace for retaliation by Hezbollah for last week’s drone strikes it claims were sent to disrupt the terrorist group’s efforts to produce precision-guided missiles in Lebanon.
In a speech to hundreds of his followers in southern Beirut on Saturday, Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah categorically denied Israeli claims the group has factories to produce precision-guided missiles in Lebanon. Nasrallah said his group possessed precision-guided missiles but not the factories to produce them.
Nasrallah said the terrorist group will retaliate for drone attacks last week in Beirut that he has attributed to Israel “in every possible place along the border.” He also reiterated his group’s intention to retaliate for the Israeli attack, saying Israel “must pay a price” for its aggression.
“All the threats and intimidations will not prevent the retaliation of the resistance.”
Israel’s Northern Command has been preparing for a limited strike against military targets for a week. 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 canceled. The IDF has also closed the airspace to civilian flights, closing the civilian airport in Kiryat Shmona and has put the Navy on high alert.
From Saudi Arabia to Beirut, a drone war has taken flight across the wider Middle East, raising the stakes in the ongoing tensions between the U.S., Iran and Israel. On Sunday night, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah called a drone strike on the media center “a very, very dangerous violation” and said Hezbollah would strike back from Lebanon in retaliation for that attack in Beirut and the deaths of two Hezbollah members in Syria.
The New York Times reported Saturday night a rare announcement by the Israeli military of the strike inside Syria, which included word of what the Israeli military described as a new Iranian tactic: kamikaze-style unmanned vehicles designed to hit a target and blow up on impact —”killer drones.”
Hezbollah is an Iranian-sponsored, internationally sanctioned terrorist group. The United States designated Hezbollah a terrorist group in 1997. The European Union designated Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization in 2013 but has so far refrained from adding the political wing to that list.
MIDDLE EAST TENSIONS
Since the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last year, the number of attacks in the region has skyrocketed, including several attacks on oil tankers in the strait of Hormuz. In 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal was signed between Iran and six world states including Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States. President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the accord in May, restoring American sanctions that have pushed Iran’s economy into crisis.
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