LEBANON’s president, Michel Aoun, on Monday condemned an Israeli drone attack on Beirut at the weekend as a ‘declaration of war’ that justifies a military response by the Lebanese armed forces and Hezbollah.
‘What happened is a declaration of war,’ Aoun told Jan Kubis, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon in a meeting. ‘This allows us to resort to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,’ he added in a statement released by his office.
The army said two Israeli drones had violated Lebanese airspace over Beirut before dawn on Sunday, with one exploding in the air. Hezbollah movement chief Hassan Nasrallah confirmed an armed drone had hit a target in the party’s Beirut stronghold.
It was the first such ‘hostile action’ since the 2006 war when Hezbollah beat back Israel added the head of the liberation movement, who also vowed to
On Monday, Israeli air strikes also targeted a Palestinian faction loyal to the Syrian government in eastern Lebanon.
State-run NNA news agency reported ‘three hostile strikes’ after midnight hit Lebanon’s eastern mountains near Qusaya town ‘where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) General Command has military posts’.
Aoun said the Israeli attacks on Qusaya and Beirut violated a UN Security Council resolution ending the month-long 2006 war that killed 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 in Israel.
On Sunday, Nasrallah threatened Israel after the Beirut attack. ‘The time when Israeli aircraft come and bombard parts of Lebanon is over,’ he said in a televised speech. ‘I say to the Israeli army along the border, from tonight be ready and wait for us … What happened yesterday will not pass.’
Nasrallah confirmed two Hezbollah members were among those killed in Sunday’s strike. In a speech just hours after one of the Israeli drones crashed in the Lebanese capital, he said they were on a ‘suicide mission’. ‘Hezbollah will not allow such an aggression,’ he declared.
Following the 2006 war between Lebanese-based liberation movement Hezbollah and Israel, the volatile border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm.
The latest raid also came after Israel on Saturday launched strikes on neighbouring Syria to prevent what it claimed was an Iranian attack on Israel.
Later on Sunday, Iraq’s powerful Hashd al-Sha’abi, or Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), blamed Israel for carrying out the deadly drone attack close to the border with Syria.
An Iraqi parliamentary bloc representing the PMU says the recent Israeli acts of aggression targeting the pro-government military force amount to ‘a declaration of war’ on the country.
In a statement released on Monday, the Fatah (Conquest) alliance held the United States accountable for the drone strikes on PMU bases over the past few weeks, which are widely reported to have been carried out by the Tel Aviv regime.
‘While we reserve the right to respond to these Zionist attacks, we hold the international coalition, particularly the United States, fully responsible for this aggression, which we consider a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,’ read the statement.
With Trump’s deal of the century in tatters after complete rejection by the Palestinians, Israel has been driven into a fury and is now lashing out at all of the Arab liberation movements.
It reasons that what it cannot gain by US-sponsored diplomacy it will gain by a war, which it is now igniting, and in which, with the support of its major allies the US and the UK, it hopes to expand the Israeli state at the expense of the Arab peoples.
British and American workers must support the Palestinians’ right to their own state. Palestine will be one secular state with Jerusalem as its capital where Arabs, Jews and Christians will be able to live side by side in peace and security.