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Lebanese president sees Israeli drone attack as “declaration of war”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday hailed the attack as a “declaration of war” by an armed Israeli drone that was blown to a site in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Aoun told UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Lubitsch during a meeting at the summer residence that what happened was “a declaration of war that allows us to resort to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” according to a statement by the presidential press office.

On Sunday before dawn, a drone crashed in the southern suburb and the second exploded in the air, according to the Lebanese army.

Hezbollah and the army accused Israel of not commenting on it.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened that “when Israeli drones enter Lebanese airspace, we will work to bring them down.”

The Lebanese president expressed fears that “Israel’s aggression will lead to a deterioration in the situation, especially if it is repeated and put Lebanon on the defensive of its sovereignty.”

“We do not accept that anyone threatens us in any way. We are a people who seek peace, not war.”

Aoun noted that “the attack on the southern suburbs as well as on the Qusayr area violates the first paragraph of Security Council Resolution 1701 and what applies to Lebanon in the provisions of this UN resolution should apply to Israel as well.”

“I have reiterated before you that Lebanon will not fire any single shot from the border unless it is in self-defense, and what happened yesterday allows us to exercise this right.”

Israel targeted the eastern Lebanese mountain range after midnight on Monday, opposite the outskirts of the town of Qusayr, where military positions of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) are based.

Nasrallah vowed on Sunday evening to respond to the Israeli attack, saying: “The time has come when Israeli planes are bombed somewhere in Lebanon and the usurper entity in Palestine remains safe.” We will not allow such a route at any cost.”

Israel carried out raids on Syria on Saturday night, which it said were aimed at facilities belonging to an Iranian faction near Damascus, but Tehran denied this.

Nasrallah confirmed on Sunday that the raids targeted a party center, a house for its fighters and not a military site, and caused the death of two of his fighters were funeral Monday in the southern suburbs.

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