Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun on Tuesday urged Washington to help mediate a solution to a maritime border dispute with Israel, as Beirut looks to start offshore oil and gas exploration.
Lebanon dismissed Turkish claims on Friday that it would receive the Adrian Darya, an Iranian tanker which has been bouncing around the Mediterranean amid US warnings over its valuable oil cargo.
The Israeli air force struck a Palestinian base in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria early on Monday amid rising tensions in the Middle East, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency and a Palestinian official said.
Hizbollah will respond with a “surprise” strike against Israel after drones crashed in Lebanon, but a new war remains unlikely, the Iran-backed movement said, amid heightened fears of a full-scale confrontation between the longtime adversaries.
Hezbollah said on Monday it had shot down an “Israeli drone” as it crossed the border with Lebanon, a week after a confrontation between the arch-foes.
An escalation between Israel and Hizbollah has ended after a brief exchange of fire, but tensions remained high along the Lebanese border Monday after the enemies traded accusations.
The United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon is calling on Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah to exercise restraint, after Hizbollah fired anti-tanks into an Israeli military base and Israel responded with heavy artillery fire.
The incident came hours after Israel launched air strikes in neighbouring Syria but the official could not confirm if the Drones were Israeli or if they had been shot down by Hezbollah.
Syrians preoccupied with daily financial pressures have nevertheless been infuriated by Donald Trump’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Syria’s Golan Heights. A senior government official told Gulf Today that US policy is “to protect Israel” although Israel, which has built the most powerful military in the region, needs no protection.