Hezbollah Threatens to Attack Israel in Response to Syria Border Strike

Convoy was carrying missiles from Syria into Lebanon; destroyed weapons were more dangerous than almost all missiles Hezbollah already has, Time says.

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Hezbollah threatened Wednesday to attack Israel in retaliation for an alleged Israeli air strike that hit one of its bases near the Lebanon-Syria border earlier this week.

"The new aggression is a blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory...The Resistance [Hezbollah] will choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it," a statement on Hezbollah run Al-Manar television said.

Hezbollah said that the attack caused material damage but no casualties, countering Arab media reports of multiple casualties. The group also denied media reports that any artillery or rocket positions had been hit or any casualties resulting from the attack.

The porous border is frequently used by fighters and smugglers to move people and weapons between Lebanon and Syria. The area is a bastion of Hezbollah support and the group is known to have several outposts and training camps there. Arab media reports said Hezbollah had suffered casualties, though neither the group nor the Lebanese military confirmed an air strike had actually taken place.

Israel has refused to comment on reports that Israel attacked targets near the Bekaa Valley village of Janta, but one official confirmed the strike in an interview with Time Magazine.

The unnamed official indicated that the missiles destroyed in the attack could carry warheads that Time described as "heavier and more dangerous than almost all of the tens of thousands of missiles and rockets Hezbollah now has pointed toward Israel."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly commented on the strike Tuesday, saying: "I am not speaking about claims that have been made about what we did or didn't do. Our policy is clear - we do what we have to in order to secure Israel."

Lebanon's Daily Star reported Wednesday that four members of Hezbollah were killed in the air strike. The newspaper cited security sources as saying the air strikes was aimed at two trucks, one transferring missiles and the other carrying a missile launcher, both of which they said were heading to Hezbollah's missile warehouses in Lebanon. Hezbollah did not comment officially on the raid.

The Janta area, where the attack took place, is known to house a Hezbollah training center for militants, the Daily Star reported. It said Janta is also a well-known route for arms smuggling between Lebanon and Syria.

This was the first attack on the Lebanese-Syria border this year that has been attributed to Israel. According to foreign news sources, there were at least six such attacks during 2013, all of which targeted weapons deliveries from Syria to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

Hezbollah's Katyusha rockets in Lebanon also threaten Tel Aviv Stock Exchange indexesCredit: AP

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