Low-flying Israeli Jets' Sonic Booms Damage Homes in Lebanon, Security Sources Say

Lebanon has accused Israel of violating its air space to strike a target in Syria

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu examines Israel's new F-35 jets in December 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu examines Israel's new F-35 jets in December 2016.Credit: Ariel Schalit/AP

Israeli jets flew low over the city of Saida in southern Lebanon on Sunday causing sonic booms that broke windows and shook buildings for the first time in years, security sources and residents said.

Israeli warplanes regularly enter Lebanese airspace, the Lebanese military says, but rarely fly so low.

Last week, Lebanon said it would lodge a complaint with the UN Security Council over what it called Israel’s unprecedented violation of Lebanese airspace to bomb Syrian territories. Syria's army said Israel targeted one of its positions in the Hama province early on Thursday, with planes coming in from Lebanese territory. The strike hit Syria's main missile factory, near the city of Masyaf.

The Israeli military gave no comment.

The sonic booms also caused panic in Saida, residents said.

Tension has risen between Lebanon's Shi'ite group Hezbollah and Israel, which last fought a war in 2006.

Hezbollah has played down the prospects of another imminent conflict but warned it could take place on Israeli territory, and said its rockets could hit targets anywhere in Israel.

Israel's air force chief has said it would use all its strength in a future war with Hezbollah.

The 2006 Second Lebanon War killed 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

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