As daily skirmishes between Hezbollah and Israel continue, the Israeli Air Force struck several Hezbollah targets deep inside Lebanon, including an airport built by Iran, the IDF announced on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Lebanon Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said if war was to break out, it wouldn't come from Lebanon – while at the same time praising his government's good ties with Hezbollah terror forces, calling them "the resistance."
The strike on the airstrip in the Qalaat Jabbur mountain range, some 20 km (almost 14 miles) from the Israeli border, came in response to an earlier drone attack on Israeli targets, for which Hezbollah claimed responsibility.
The airstrip was revealed by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in September.
It was built by Iran and served Hezbollah's aerial unit, which is responsible for the almost daily drone attacks on northern Israel since Oct. 8.
The IDF also announced further airstrikes on military sites in the areas near the city of Tyre and the town of Mghairiye, which are located around 20 km (almost 14 miles) and close to 40 km (24 miles) from the border, respectively.
Despite earlier attacks attributed to Israel in Tyre and Beirut, Thursday's statements are the first official confirmation of IDF strikes deep in Lebanese territory and are intended to be a warning to Hezbollah.
The IDF later announced a second wave of strikes in the areas of Tir Harfa, Ayta al-Shaab, and Kafr Kila, targeting more Hezbollah military posts.
Gallant had revealed intelligence about the Iranian airport in Lebanon at last year's conference of the Anti-Terrorism Policy Institute at Reichman University.
"I am revealing here for the first time photos of an airport for terrorist purposes that Iran is building in Qalaat Jabbur in southern Lebanon – 20 kilometers from the Israeli border. In the pictures, you can see the Iranian flag flying over the runways, from which the ayatollah regime plans to operate against the citizens of Israel," Gallant said at the time.
"In other words: The land is Lebanese, the control is Iranian, and the target is Israel," he added.
Despite the provocations and attacks that Hezbollah has carried out against Israeli targets on a daily basis for almost four months, Bou Habib said: "If war breaks out, it won't come from Lebanon."
Speaking with Lebanese newspaper L'Orient-Le Jour, Bou Habib claimed his government was pursuing the implementation of UN Resolution 1701, which calls for the withdrawal of Hezbollah's terror forces from the Israeli border.
Hezbollah has ignored the resolution since it was approved at the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
According to Bou Habib, the Lebanese army would like to strengthen its forces at the border to enforce the resolution but added: "We don't have the means to ensure recruitment, even though demand is very high due to unemployment."
Regarding the government's relations with the terror group, he said that they are "good, even if we don't always agree. I don't report to Hezbollah and I don't answer to them, just as Hezbollah doesn't answer to me. Hezbollah is the resistance… We have no problem with Hezbollah. We talk all the time. Yes, I share a lot of information with the party and vice versa."
"We have a good relationship. When I get back to Lebanon tomorrow, I'll go and see Hezbollah. I'll inform them of what's happened and of my talks with the international community… We're all working in Lebanon's interests," Bou Habib added.
Republished with permission from All Israel News.