On August 20, several F-35 stealthy fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) were spotted flying over South Lebanon, the heartland of Hezbollah.
Lebanese activists shared photos of the fighter jets, which were apparently conducting a training or a reconnaissance mission in Lebanon’s airspace in a blatant violation of the country’s sovereignty and international laws.
At least 27 F-35 fighter jets are currently in service with the IAF. Israel is planning to acquire a total of 75 fighter jets of this type.
— LEB news 🇱🇧 (@HusseinS2004) August 20, 2021
A day earlier, a number of IAF warplanes violated Lebanon’s airspace before launching a series of airstrikes on Syria’s central region.
The airstrikes hit several targets near the Syrian capital, Damascus, and in the southern countryside of Homs. Four civilians were killed and three other were wounded.
Lebanon condemned the Israeli airstrikes and lodged a complaint at the United Nations. In a statement, Caretaker Lebanese Defense Minister Zeina Akar noted that Israel’s violations of Lebanon’s airspace pose a direct and serious threat to the Lebanese navigation and safety of civil aviation.
As expected, the complaint was ignored by Israel, whose warplanes will apparently continue to operate in Lebanon’s airspace for the foreseeable future.
While the IAF is free to spy and launch attacks on Syria from Lebanon’s airspace, attacks on Lebanon’s territory are considered to be a “red line” by Hezbollah. Earlier this month, the Lebanese group fired “dozens of rockets” at northern Israel in response to few Israeli airstrikes that targeted empty areas in South Lebanon.
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