Iran building new precision missile facility on Syria-Iraq border
Based on satellite photos released by ImageSat International, Fox News reported that an Iranian base is under construction on the border between Syria and Iraq, which appears capable of serving the Islamic Republic’s precision missile program.
NY Times: Israel was ‘far closer’ to attacking Iran than anyone realised
Even as Israel and Iran currently confront each other on a number of different fronts, and after the U.S. pullout from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord under President Donald Trump, the New York Times has published “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran.”
It details the debates within and between the U.S. and Israeli governments over whether to attack the Islamic Republic in order to thwart a potential Iranian nuclear threat, and in 2012 an Israeli attack “came far closer to happening than has previously been reported.”
“In the summer of 2012, American spy satellites detected clusters of Israeli aircraft making what seemed to be early preparations for an attack” on Iran, says The New York Times.
“One former senior Israeli security official, looking back at that time, said that it wasn’t until then that he believed the prime minister [Netanyahu] was serious about striking Iran,” says the article, written by Ronen Bergman, an Israeli security correspondent, and Mark Mazzetti, a Washington-based investigative reporter.
“Behind the scenes, Israel was indeed preparing for a strike. Its military and intelligence services had cut the time needed for the final preparations — for the attack and for the war that might ensue,” the correspondents write.
Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador in Washington at the time, told the newspaper: “I went to bed every night, if I went to bed at all, with the phone close to my ear. I was ready to be called in by Israel and sent to the White House or the State Department to tell them we had attacked, or if they already knew from their own sources, straight to CNN.”
The Times report says that the Israeli attack “came far closer to happening than has previously been reported.”
“Netanyahu insists that the threat of an Israeli strike ‘was not a bluff — it was real. And only because it was real were the Americans truly worried about it,’” says the report. He pulled back from the brink only because he still could not get a majority of his cabinet to support him. “If I’d had a majority, I would have done it,” he says. “Unequivocally,” according to the article.
‘Israel must pay,’ vows Hezbollah terror chief in new threats
World Israel News Staff and AP – The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed terror army, Hezbollah, broadcast new threats on Saturday related to air strikes within Lebanese territory it believes Israel carried out.
Terror chief Hassan Nasrallah reiterated his group’s intention to retaliate against the Jewish state, saying Israel “must pay a price” for its aggression.
Following one of the drone strikes, reports indicated a key facility related to Hezbollah’s Iranian-backed precision missile program was struck, with critical infrastructure destroyed.
On Saturday, Nasrallah categorically denied Israeli claims about facilities to produce precision-guided missiles in Lebanon. According to Nasrallah, such accusations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are “lie[s]” to justify Israeli aggression against Lebanon.
Anti-tank missiles fired at Israel from Lebanon, bomb shelters open
“A number of anti-aircraft missiles were fired from Lebanon at an IDF base and military vehicles in the area. There are a number of confirmed hits,” the army said in a statement. The missiles were fired at an Israeli base and IDF vehicles near Moshav Avivim, which is located less than one kilometre from the border with Lebanon. Hezbollah claimed it destroyed a tank. IDF confirms that at least one vehicle was hit. Israel returned fire at targets in southern Lebanon. Residents up to four kilometers from the Lebanon border were directed to open bomb shelters and to remain in their homes, Ynet reports.
Palestinians fire 5 rockets at southern Israel as border riots rage on
The rockets were launched by terrorists on Friday night, setting off red alert sirens in communities in Southern Israel.
By Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
Five rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel late Friday night, the Israeli military confirmed after rocket warning sirens sounded in the Israeli border town of Sderot and two nearby villages shortly before midnight.
Israel responded with tank and air strikes on a number of Hamas military targets in the northern Gaza Strip, an Israeli military spokesman said. Palestinian officials said no one was injured.
At the same time, the weekly riots on the Gaza-Israel border continued, with two rioters shot by IDF forces.
An Israeli military spokesman said troops guarding the border on Friday were faced with more than 6,000 demonstrators at several points along the fence, some hurling explosive devices and firebombs. He said that some briefly managed to cross the fence before returning to Gaza, and that Israeli forces responded with riot dispersal measures. Around 210 Palestinians have been killed since the riots began in March 2018, Gaza medical officials say.
Egypt, Qatar, and United Nations officials have been working to keep the border calm in recent months.