Israel claims Syria air strike, says hunt for Hezbollah tunnels over

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot speaks at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the defense ministry's headquarters in Tel Aviv

"We worked with impressive success to block Iran's military entrenchment in Syria", Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Confirming a Friday night sortie in Syria, Netanyahu said Israel's air force had "struck Iran's warehouses, containing Iranian arms, in Damascus global airport". "The bulk of recent attacks show how we are more committed than ever to act against Iran in Syria, as we promised". "We are thus approaching the completion of the goal we set at the outset of Operation Northern Shield - the eradication of Hezbollah's tunnels weapon", he said.

Eisenkot, who will step down on Tuesday, will be replaced by Maj. In 2018 alone, Israel dropped around 2,000 bombs on alleged Iran-linked targets, Gadi Eisenkot told the New York Times in his final interview as chief of staff of the IDF before he retires next week.

Syria filed complaints with the UN Security Council over the airstrikes, the Times of Israel reported.

He said this was part of a Hezbollah plan to send as many as 1,500 fighters to infiltrate Israeli border communities during any future war.

The Israeli military said a sixth tunnel was found on Saturday, 55 meters (yards) deep and reaching "a few tens of meters" into Israeli territory from 800 meters within Lebanon.

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"Overnight, the air force also attacked on the southern front against Hamas targets in Gaza and this morning we announced the exposure of an additional tunnel, a main tunnel, perhaps the most important, that crossed the border into our territory".

"According to our assessments, there are no longer any tunnels crossing into Israel", military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

He claimed the tunnel included stairs, a rail system, and a passageway to allow equipment and forces through.

The tunnel would be destroyed in the coming days, Conricus said, adding that while more tunnels still existed on the Lebanese side of the border, this effectively marked the end of the ambitious military operation.

Hezbollah and Israel last fought a war in 2006. Conricus said the United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, was updated on the latest development.

Israel has called on the global community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and act against the state within a state operation in Lebanon.

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