Tunnel used for militant attacks had stairs and rail system, Israel says

Tunnel used for militant attacks had stairs and rail system, Israel says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged on Sunday Israel's weekend attack on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, and said it had also completed a hunt for cross-border tunnels dug by Tehran-allied Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

Israel has traditionally refrained from publicizing military operations against Iranian-linked targets on its northern front, but has been lifting the veil in recent days, a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tension with Syria's big-power backer, Russia.

He also added that "the accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria, and we will strike harder in Syria if needed.".

Only recently has it begun to speak publicly about thwarting the weapons shipments from Iran through Syria into Lebanon.

We worked with impressive success to block Iran's military entrenchment in Syria.

It reached a few dozen metres into Israel, and at 55 metres underground was the deepest as well as "the longest and most detailed" of all the tunnels the army exposed, Conricus said.

He claimed the tunnel included stairs, a rail system, and a passageway to allow equipment and forces through.

"According to our intelligence and our assessment of the situation there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel".

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Lt Col Conricus said: "We have achieved the goal that we set out to achieve a month and a half ago".

Hezbollah and Israel last fought a war in 2006.

UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, was informed of the latest tunnel, Conricus said.

Although there are more tunnels on the Lebanese side of the border, the military says this effectively marks the end of the operation.

In recent years, Hezbollah has been bogged down in fighting in Syria on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

Israel has long called for a crackdown on the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a heavily armed mini-army that is believed to possess an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost all of Israel.

But with that civil war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

In the wake of the tunnel discoveries, Israel has asked the global community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and launch action against its state-within-a-state operation in Lebanon.

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