Israeli military orders extra forces to Lebanon border area

Israeli soldiers unload a self-propelled artillery gun near the Lebanese border outside the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona on August 31, 2019. (AFP)

Israel’s military said on Saturday it had ordered extra forces to deploy its northern command as tensions remained high with Lebanon’s heavily armed Shiite movement Hezbollah.

The army said its “ground forces, air, navy and intelligence forces improved their preparedness for various scenarios in the northern command area.”

It said the measures had been taken in the past week.

“Reserve soldiers have received a message regarding the relevant time they need to deploy,” the army said in a statement.

It posted on Twitter footage of tanks and ground forces being deployed.

Israel and Hezbollah, which last fought a war in 2006, are on high alert after drones were used on Sunday to attack what a security official in the region described as a target linked to precision-guided missile projects.

Hezbollah has blamed Israel for the rare strike in Beirut, and said it will retaliate. The heavily armed Shiite movement has denied harboring such missile facilities.

Lebanon has accused Israel of seeking pretexts for aggression.

Without claiming responsibility for the drone attack, the Israeli military published what it said were details about an extensive Iranian-sponsored campaign to provide Hezbollah with the means to produce precision-guided missiles.

Such missiles - which Hezbollah acknowledges possessing - could potentially pose a counter-balance to Israel’s overwhelming military force in any future war, with the capacity to home in on and knock out core infrastructure sites.

On Friday, Hezbollah handed over two drones that crashed in Beirut to the Lebanese army, Hezbollah’s al-Manar news channel and Lebanese military sources said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Lebanon, Hezbollah’s chief and the head of Iran’s Quds Force to “be careful” with their words and actions.

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Last Update: 18:38 KSA 21:38 - GMT 18:38
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