Netanyahu tours Israel’s border with Lebanon following completion of Operation Northern Shield, addresses IDF airstrikes in Syria; Iran denies military presence in Syria and denies Israeli airstrikes hit Iranian targets.
Prime Minister Netanyahu toured Israel’s northern border with Lebanon following the IDF’s announcement it had completed Operation Northern Shield this week.
Netanyahu addressed the success of Operation Northern Shield, as well as Israel’s recent strikes on Iranian weapons depots in Syria. During his tour in the north, the prime minister met with IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir, as well as with the IDF’s Galilee and Northern Command Divisions. He toured the border and met with IDF soldiers, thanking and congratulating them on behalf of the citizens of Israel.
On exposing and neutralizing Hezbollah’s terror tunnel network, he stated “the IDF has exposed a sixth tunnel – the largest of all – that crossed into Israeli territory. This brings Operation Northern Shield to a successful close. We will continue to monitor all activity by Hezbollah and by Iran and its proxies. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure the security of Israel.” He thanked the IDF and “and all of the soldiers from all of the units, engineering, observation and others for the exceptional work they have done here.”
Addressing the airstrikes near the Damascus International Airport over the weekend, Netanyahu stated “In the past 48 hours, Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the international airport in Damascus. This reflects our consistent policy and strong determination to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria. If necessary, we will step up these attacks.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Bahram Qassemi denied the strikes hit Iranian targets, as well as Iran’s military presence in Syria. Following Netanyahu’s confirmation of the strikes, Qassemi claimed the “Zionists War Ministry comments are baseless, false, misleading, and an attempt to justify the failures of the regime in the region.” Consistent with Iran’s denial of its military presence in Syria, he added “Iran does not have a military base and military presence in Syria and was present at the request of the Syrian government for advisory mission and fighting the terrorists.”
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