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Tensions Rise As Hezbollah Vows A Response To Israel

This picture taken on August 25, 2019 shows forensic investigators of Lebanon's military intelligence inspecting the scene where two drones came down in the vicinity of a media center of the Shiite Hezbollah movement earlier in the day.

Tensions are growing between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, as its leader Hassan Nasrallah said a response to Israeli drones is for certain as Israel heightened troop readiness on its northern border.

In a speech on Saturday, Nasrallah insisted a response to an alleged Israeli drone attack a week ago has been decided. It is not clear if Hezbollah is simply threatening to act against Israeli drones or attack Israeli territory.

In his Saturday speech, Nasrallah vowed to retaliate "at all costs" and target Israeli drones, which often operate in Lebanese airspace.

"The response will be open... from Lebanon," he said, "in the Shebaa Farms or anywhere on the border".

Israel's military said on Saturday it had reinforced its northern command and postponed a training exercise as tensions remained high with Lebanon's heavily armed Shi’ite movement Hezbollah.

The army said that over the past week its "ground forces, air, navy and intelligence forces improved their preparedness for various scenarios in the northern command area."

It posted on Twitter footage of tanks and ground forces being deployed.

Netanyahu had on Tuesday warned Nasrallah to "be careful" with his words and actions.

Addressing Nasrallah, Netanyahu said in a speech "he knows very well that the state of Israel knows how to defend itself well, and to repay its enemies".

On Thursday, the Israeli army accused Iran of helping Hezbollah to assemble precision-guided missiles that could cause "massive" human casualties in Israel.

Nasrallah responded on Saturday, saying: "In Lebanon, we have what we need in terms of precision missiles for any confrontation great or small... we don't have precision missile factories".

Iran is the main arms and money supplier to Hezbollah and Israel has conducted numerous airstrikes at convoys trying to deliver arms to the Shiite militia.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP