Lebanese media has reported that the Israeli Air Force struck Hezbollah targets near the Lebanon-Syria border late Monday evening. Arab news outlet Al Arabiya confirmed “a number” of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, which targeted a “missile base.”
The location of the strike was near the towns of Janta and Yahfoufa. Multiple targets were hit and involved, according to Al Arabiya, several IAF jet-fighters. Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that the strikes were against a weapons shipment meant for Hezbollah.
Janta is a well known bastion of Hezbollah activity, including recruitment and training camps. The town is also considered a key stronghold for Hezbollah’s arms smuggling route between Lebanon and Syria.
An anonymous Lebanese security official told AFP that “Two Israeli raids hit a Hezbollah target on the border of Lebanon and Syria.” Residents near the target sites told the AFP that ahead of the raids, they saw flare bombs lighting up the night sky. After the strike took place, eyewitnesses reported seeing low flying IAF jets flying out to sea and heading towards Israel.
Last month, the IAF allegedly carried out a covert airstrike on a Syrian missile system. The S-300 surface-to-air missile system was reportedly destroyed by Israel over concerns that the weapons system would fall into the hands of Hezbollah.
Since the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah has been slowly beefing up its weapons arsenal, including advanced weaponry that would have the capability to reach farther into Israeli territory.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli owned arms company, recently unveiled what it calls a “Star-Wars” style weapon that literally disintegrates incoming missiles using cutting edge laser technology. Called “Iron Beam,” Israel’s latest weapon will compliment the infamous Iron Dome missile defense system against incoming rocket and mortar fire.
The IDF has neither confirmed nor denied the strike. At a join conference today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister refused to comment on the situation. He told reporters, “Our policy is clear – we will not speak about reports of what we did or didn’t do – but we do all that is necessary in order to defend our citizens.”