August 26, 2019 Israeli military drones bombed a Palestinian base in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria early Monday amid rising tensions in the Middle East, according to Lebanon’s state run news agency.
Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reports there were three strikes early on Monday, minutes apart, that struck a base for a Syrian-backed group known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command. Hezbollah blamed Israel for attacks Saturday and Sunday targeting Iranian forces in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Israeli authorities confirmed a Saturday night’s airstrike near Damascus on an Iranian-operated base, claiming it thwarted a “very imminent” Iranian drone strike. Hezbollah said at least two members of the militia were killed.
Just hours after Israeli authorities announced the airstrike, a Hezbollah official said an Israeli drone went down over Beirut, and a second drone exploded near the ground before dawn on Sunday, amid regional tensions.
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 of an Israeli strike inside Syria 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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