Israel is ready to use “all means necessary” to defend itself against Iranian threats “on several fronts”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday. This came after Israeli army launched strikes late Saturday in Syria to thwart what it said was an impending Iranian attack against the Jewish state.
Just hours later, Lebanon’s army said two Israeli drones had violated Lebanese airspace over south Beirut, and the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said one damaged a media centre it runs.
“Iran is working on several fronts to carry out deadly attacks against the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a Hebrew video statement.
“Israel will continue to defend its security by all means necessary,” he said, calling on the international community to “act immediately” to stop Iran’s attacks”.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said the alleged attack in Beirut marked the first such “hostile action” in Lebanon since a 2006 war between his group and Israel.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called it a “declaration of war”.
On Sunday, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew into Biarritz in southern France for the G7 summit on Sunday in an unexpected and dramatic attempt to break a diplomatic deadlock over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.
Last year Trump pulled the US out of an international accord designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has reimposed sanctions on Iran—and even slapped them on Zarif this week—in an effort to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
Tensions soared in the Gulf in June and July amid attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone and after the US said it had downed an Iranian drone. Trump has said the attack against the US drone prompted him to order a military strike in response, only to call it off at the last minute.