Netanyahu Admits to Conducting Airstrikes in Syria

Blanche Robertson
January 14, 2019

Syrian state media said the military's air defences shot down Israeli missiles.

Benjamin Netanyahu's comments on Sunday at his weekly Cabinet meeting mark a rare public acknowledgment of Israeli activity in Syria.

"In just the last 36 hours, the air force struck Iran's warehouses, containing Iranian arms, in Damascus global airport", he added, referring to a Friday night sortie that Syria said it had answered with anti-aircraft fire.

Netanyahu also cited an Israeli search-and-dismantle mission against suspected Hezbollah attack tunnels along the border with Lebanon that was launched in December and deemed completed on Sunday.

"The accumulation of recent attacks shows that we're more determined than ever to act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised", the prime minister's office said.

Uncharacteristically, outgoing military chief of staff Gadi syria also spoke publicly of Syrian airstrikes in interviews in recent days.

On Saturday, Syria said it filed complaints with the U.N. Security Council and with U.N. Secretary-General Antonia Guterres over Israel's alleged airstrikes.

Eisenkot, who will step down on Tuesday, will be replaced by Maj.

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Eisenkot told the New York Times: 'We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit'.

The Israeli military said a sixth tunnel was found on Saturday, 55 meters (yards) deep and reaching "a few tens of meters" into Israeli territory from 800 meters within Lebanon.

"According to our assessments, there are no longer any tunnels crossing into Israel", military spokesman Lt. -Col.

Under Eisenkot's command, Netanyahu said the IDF made "great achievements", but added that there "was much more work to be done, which we will do".

Hezbollah has not commented on the tunnels, the existence of several of which has been confirmed by Unifil peacekeepers.

Israel and the United Nations say the tunnels violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

Israel has pledged to prevent its enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where it is backing President Bashar Assad's regime alongside Russian Federation and Hezbollah. In tandem we'll seize a number of locations in Lebanese territory from which Hezbollah digs tunnels that have not yet crossed into Israel.

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