Hizbullah Vows Revenge for Airstrike

BEIRUT (AP) -

Hizbullah alleged Wednesday that Israel carried out an airstrike targeting one of its positions near the border with Syria earlier this week. They vowed to retaliate.

The attack, which Israel has not officially acknowledged, is the first reported air attack inside Lebanese territory since the start of the Syrian conflict three years ago.

The airstrike, which occurred Monday night, caused material damage but no casualties, according to a statement issued by Hizbullah.

Israel has fired artillery across the border, and carried out similar airstrikes inside Syria, targeting suspected weapons shipments believed to be bound from Syria to Hizbullah in Lebanon.

The reported airstrike near the border was initially met with silence by Lebanese and Hizbullah officials, who declined to confirm if or where it had happened. But on Wednesday, Hizbullah said the attack took place near the eastern Lebanese village of Janta. It denied media reports that any artillery or rocket positions had been hit or any casualties had resulted from the attack.

“We will retaliate for this Israeli aggression, and the resistance will choose the appropriate time and place as well as appropriate means to respond,” Hizbullah said.

The Israeli military has declined to comment on Hizbullah’s accusations. But senior defense officials confirmed that Israel had indeed carried out an airstrike late Monday. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a secret mission, gave no details on the precise location or target of the attack.

However, Hizbullah is so deeply embroiled in the Syrian conflict that regional experts think it unlikely it will seek to open up a second front with Israel at this time.