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Hezbollah planning 'calculated strike' against Israel after Beirut drone attack

Sources close to Hizballah say the group is planning a retaliatory strike on Israel. [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 August, 2019

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Sources close to the Iran-backed Hezbollah group said that a 'calculated strike' against Israel is being prepared in response to drone attacks in Beirut.

Hezbollah is preparing to launch a "calculated strike" against Israel in response to an alleged drone attack in Beirut at the weekend.

Sources close to the Iran-backed group told Reuters on Tuesday that a response "is being arranged in a way which wouldn't lead to a war that neither Hezbollah nor Israel wants".

"The direction now is for a calculated strike, but how matters develop, that's another thing." 

Lebanon's army said two Israeli drones had violated Lebanese airspace over Beirut before dawn on Sunday, with one exploding in the air. 

Read also: The dangerous new landscape of Arab-Israeli warfare

Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah said an armed drone had hit a target in the party's Beirut stronghold, without specifying. 

It was the first such "hostile action" since a 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, added the head of the Iran-backed party, also vowing to retaliate.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hizballah said one of the drones that crashed in its Beirut stronghold at the weekend contained an explosive device weighing more than five kilogrammes.

"We confirm that the purpose of this first drone was not reconnaissance but the carrying out of a bombing attack," it said in a statement.

A report in the UK's The Times newspaper on Tuesday alleged that the Israeli drone attack in Beirut had targeted Hezbollah's precision missile project.

The attack reportedly struck two crates carrying materials to turn Hezbollah's stock of simple rockets into precision-guided missiles, The Times said.

One of the crates contained a mixer to make solid-state fuel while the other contained a computerised control unit.

Israel has struck four targets in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in a 48-hour period, ratcheting up tensions in the region.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun and the powerful Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) militia in Iraq both declared the strikes on their countries as "declarations of war".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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