Hezbollah says will respond to Israeli strike

BEIRUT Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:20am EST

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hezbollah will respond to an Israeli air strike on Monday night that hit one of its bases on the border with Syria, the Lebanese militant group said on Wednesday.

"The new aggression is a blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory...The Resistance (Hezbollah) will choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it," Hezbollah said in a statement.

The strike, which Israel has not confirmed, hit the Lebanese-Syrian border near the Bekaa Valley village of Janta, Hezbollah said. It denied reports that the strike targeted artillery or rocket bases and said there were no casualties.

Lebanese security sources have said they believed that any attack took place on Syrian soil, but Hezbollah's reference to Lebanese sovereignty suggested it took place on the Lebanese side of the ill-defined frontier.

Israeli planes have struck areas on the Syrian side of the border several times in the last two years but, if confirmed, an air strike on Lebanese soil would be the first since the Syrian revolt began in 2011.

Security sources say the targets of Israeli strikes in Syria may have been trucks of weapons destined for Hezbollah. The eastern Lebanon-Syrian border area is frequently used by smugglers.

(Reporting by Oliver Holmes and Laila Bassam; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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