Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has said that his Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite group was behind a blast that targeted Israeli troops on the border between the two countries last month.
“Yes, the explosion in the Shebaa Farms that Hezbollah has not claimed until now was the work of the resistance, which means the work of Hezbollah,” Nasrallah told the As-Safir daily.
The March 14th explosion followed Israeli air strikes inside Lebanon that were believed to have targeted Hezbollah armaments and positions near Lebanon’s Syrian border: “This was not the reply, but this was part of the reply,” Nasrallah told As-Safir.
The blast hit an Israeli patrol along the border near the Israeli Shebaa Farms area, known also as Har Dov. The Israeli army said none of its troops were hurt in that blast. But another explosion in the same area days later left four soldiers injured and drew Israeli retaliatory strikes at Syrian army positions. Hezbollah has been fighting alongside the Syrian Assad regime in that country’s civil war.
Nasrallah also claimed that his Hezbollah forces had turned the tide in the Syrian civil war, backing Syrian president Hafez Assad against opposition armies: “The danger of the Syrian regime’s fall has ended,” Nasrallah said.
Tensions have been running high between Israel and Hezbollah for months, with the Jewish state warning it would carry out strikes to prevent the group from obtaining advanced “game-changing” weaponry transported from Syria.
On February 24, warplanes believed to belong to Israel reportedly bombed a Hezbollah position on the Lebanese-Syrian border where advanced weapons were believed to be located, though Israel refused to officially confirm or deny the action.
Israel fought a war against Hezbollah in 2006. Hezbollah has since re-armed and is considered a significantly more dangerous force today that it was even before that war. It possesses tens of thousands of rockets capable of striking Israel.