War fears grow as sus­pected Is­raeli air­craft strike Le­banon

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

BEIRUT — Le­banese and Iraqi politi­cians de­nounced Is­raeli strikes on their ter­ri­tory as a “dec­la­ra­tion of war” on Mon­day as a sus­pected Is­raeli air­craft struck an­other Iran-linked tar­get in Le­banon, mark­ing a new es­ca­la­tion in ten­sions.

The at­tack on a Pales­tinian fa­cil­ity in eastern Le­banon’s Bekaa Val­ley was the fourth in the space of just a lit­tle over a day to hit lo­ca­tions tied to Ira­nian-backed groups in Le­banon, Syria and Iraq.

Is­rael has ac­knowl­edged only the strike in Syria, car­ried out late Satur­day night by war­planes against an Iran-linked mil­i­tary base south­east of Da­m­as­cus. The Is­raeli mil­i­tary said the strike thwarted a plot by Iran’s elite Quds Force to at­tack Is­raeli ter­ri­tory us­ing mul­ti­ple ex­plod­ing drones. There was no in­de­pen­dent con­fir­ma­tion that such a plan ex­isted.

The other ap­par­ent Is­raeli at­tacks tar­geted a Hezbol­lah me­dia of­fice in Beirut’s south­ern sub­urbs early Sun­day morn­ing and the con­voy of a mili­tia com­man­der in the western Iraqi province of An­bar in the af­ter­noon.

Le­banese Pres­i­dent Michel Aoun told the U.N. Spe­cial En­voy for Le­banon that he re­garded the ap­par­ent Is­raeli drone at­tack on the Hezbol­lah of­fice in Beirut as a “dec­la­ra­tion of war” that vi­o­lated the U.N.-backed agree­ments that ended a dev­as­tat­ing war be­tween Is­rael and Hezbol­lah.

Sim­i­lar lan­guage was used by one of the big­gest blocs in Iraq’s par­lia­ment, the Iran-al­lied Fateh coali­tion, which called the strike that killed a com­man­der and at least one other mili­tia mem­ber of the Kataeb Hezbol­lah group a “dec­la­ra­tion of war.”

HEN­NING BAG­GER/GETTY-AFP

Bun­yamin Sim­sek, the mayor of Aarhus, Den­mark, re­places the first of 17 pedes­trian sig­nals with Vik­ing-themed lights on Mon­day. The red and green sig­nals rep­re­sent the Vik­ings who founded what be­came Den­mark’s sec­ond-largest city in the 8th cen­tury.

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