Lebanon: We have the right to defend ourselves

Lebanon stresses its right to defend the country "by any means" following drone attack blamed on Israel.

Elad Benari,

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut
Hezbollah supporters in Beirut
Reuters

Lebanon on Tuesday stressed its right to defend the country "by any means" following a drone attack blamed on Israel which hit the Beirut stronghold of the Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Hezbollah claimed overnight Saturday that an Israeli drone fell in the southern suburbs of Beirut and that a second drone exploded near the ground.

On Monday, the group claimed that the two drones carried explosives.

Israel has not commented on the reports.

Lebanon's Higher Defense Council, a government body in charge of defense policy, met on Tuesday to discuss Sunday's attack on southern Beirut, according to AFP.

"The Council affirms the right of the Lebanese to defend themselves by any means against any aggression," it said in a statement.

The statement came after President Michel Aoun, a former army chief, denounced the attack as a "declaration of war" and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah vowed retaliation.

During Tuesday's meeting, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the attack posed a threat to regional stability.

Israel used the attack, for which the Jewish state has not claimed responsibility, "to change the rules of engagement," he charged.

While Israel has not responded to Lebanon’s allegations of a drone attack, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned Lebanon, Nasrallah and the head of Iran's elite Quds Force to "be careful" with their words and actions.

Addressing Nasrallah, Netanyahu told a conference that "he knows very well that the state of Israel knows how to defend itself well, and to repay its enemies."

"I want to say to him and the Lebanese state, which is hosting this organization that aims to destroy us, and I say the same to Qassem Soleimani: Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions."

Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, threatened Israel on Sunday after the Jewish state thwarted a planned Iranian drone attack.

“These insane operations will surely be the last steps of the Zionist regime,” he wrote on Twitter.




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