Israel launches airstrikes near Syria-Lebanon border

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Originally published on February 25, 2014

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Israeli warplanes launched two raids near the border between Syria and Lebanon on Monday.

The exact location and purpose of airstrikes was not clear, but Lebanon's National News Agency said the attacks on Monday night took place near the remote Bekaa Valley town of Nabi Sheet.

Because the border in the area is mountainous and poorly marked, it was not clear if the strikes hit Syrian or Lebanese territory. Hezbollah maintains a strong presence in the area.

Fighters and smugglers frequently transport weapons between Lebanon and Syria through the area's porous border.

Reports differ as to the actual target of the surprise attack. Al Arabiya, a pan-Arab television channel based in the United Arab Emirates, reported that the raids were launched on a Hezbollah convoy carrying ballistic missiles from Syria to Lebanon.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the target was a Hezbollah missile base.

It was reported that a number of Hezbollah members were killed, but the final death toll has not been confirmed.

The Israeli military declined to comment on the strikes, though Reuters quoted an Israeli military source as saying that there had been "unusually intense air force activity in the north".

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