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Israel Sends Troops to Lebanon Border Amid Threat of Hezbollah Attack

07-23-2020

JERUSALEM, Israel – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Thursday beefed up defenses on the country's northern border with Lebanon in anticipation of a potential attack after Hezbollah accused Israel of killing one of its fighters during an alleged air raid in Syria on Monday.

"In light of a situational assessment that was held in the IDF, it was decided to send a pinpoint reinforcement of infantry troops to the Northern Command," the military said in a statement.

The London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper cited Hezbollah sources that said there was a decision to attack Israel after its fighter, Ali Kamel Mohsen, was killed during an airstrike near Damascus airport.

The Hezbollah source said the group's response to Monday's alleged attack "will be in line with [Hezbollah leader]  Hassan Nasrallah's promise to respond from the Lebanese soil to any harm done to Hezbollah soldiers in Syria."

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Nasrallah vowed to retaliate against Israel after two of the group's fighters were killed in Syria last August.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group has deployed fighters in Syria to support Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Multiple sources credit Israel with carrying out several airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria on Monday, injuring seven Syrian soldiers and killing at least five Iranian-backed militiamen.

Syrian state media reported that the Israeli raids only caused material damage and air defenses downed most of the missiles.

However, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country's civil war, reported that "at least six Israeli missiles hit several positions belonging to regime forces and pro-Iran militias south of Damascus."

According to Ynet News, Syrian military defectors said the attack targeted an Iranian-controlled ammunition depot in Jabal al Mane near the Syrian town of Kiswa, where Iranian Revolutionary Guards are stationed.

The air raids also targeted the towns of Muqaylabiya and Zakiya near Kiswa where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group is deployed with other pro-Tehran militias.

Israel rarely comments on such incidents but in the last two months, Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least eight airstrikes in its territory. The last reported airstrike came in late June.

Israel has said in recent months that it is stepping up its campaign against Iran's entrenchment in Syria.

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