Israel fighter jets enter Lebanese airspace, hit targets on Syria border - reports
Israeli air force jets attacked a target on the Syria-Lebanon border on Wednesday night, an unidentified diplomatic source told Reuters. The attack came amid reports of a sizable deployment of Israeli planes in Lebanon.
Several squads of Israeli air force jets violated Lebanese airspace at 2 a.m. local time Wednesday, the Lebanese army reported in a statement earlier on Wednesday. It said four warplanes flew over the southernmost coastal town of Naqoura, hovered for several hours over villages in southern Lebanon before leaving the country's airspace.
“There was definitely a hit in the border area,” the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, without elaborating further.
It said similar flights by eight other warplanes were conducted Tuesday.
The Israel Defense Forces refused to confirm or deny the report. "We do not comment on reports of this kind," an IDF spokeswoman said.
Over the past week, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of IAF planes sighted in the airspace of Lebanon, which borders Syria. At least 12 jet missions were reported by the Lebanese military.
The reports come amid concerns voiced by Israeli officials that Syrian chemical weapons and anti-aircraft missiles could fall into the hands of Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
Israel recently threatened to launch a preemptive strike on Syria if the Assad regime loses control of its chemical weapons stockpiles. The moment that Israelis “begin to understand” that chemical weapons are about to be seized by Hezbollah or Syrian rebels, the decision to take preventive military intervention could be made, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Sunday.