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Hezbollah warns Israel it will fight back if attacks on Lebanon continue

The Lebanese Shiite organization "would not accept that the Israelis transgress the rules of engagement that are currently set in the south" of Lebanon

NEW YORK, April 19. /TASS/. Hezbollah will retaliate if Israel keeps attacking southern Lebanon, Naim Qassem, deputy secretary-general of the Lebanese Shiite organization, told NBC News.

"We will not wage a full-scale war unless the Israelis decide to get into war against us," he said. He pointed out, however, that Hezbollah "would not accept that the Israelis transgress the rules of engagement that are currently set in the south" of Lebanon. "If Israel attacks us and aggresses us, then we will definitely respond. If they escalate, we will escalate," he emphasized.

Referring to the Palestinian-Israeli escalation, Qassem placed equal responsibility for civilian casualties on both Israel and the US. "I consider that [US President Joe] Biden and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu are both complicit in one scheme with very minor differences," the Hezbollah official said.

On the evening of April 13, Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel in response to what it called "repeated crimes" from Tel Aviv, including the attack on the consular office of the Iranian Embassy in Damascus ascribed to Israel. On April 15, ABC News reported, citing IDF spokesman Peter Lerner, that the military had given the government a wide range of options for responding to the Iranian attack and that the authorities would decide on further steps in the coming days.

Earlier, ABC television reported, citing a US official, that Israel had launched a missile strike on a site on Iranian soil. CNN said, citing another US official, that the launch was Israel’s response to the Iranian attack on April 13.

Iranian media reported that drones were spotted in the skies over the Isfahan Province on Friday at around 3:00 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. GMT on Thursday). According to Iranian media reports, three drones were downed by air defenses in the skies over the city of Isfahan. The Tasnim news agency, in turn, said that there were no missile attacks on Iranian territory. Iranian Army General Siyavush Mihandoust said that the loud sounds heard in Isfahan were "due to the work of [Isfahan's] air defenses on suspicious objects" and that no destruction or "accidents" were recorded in the city. For their part, the informed sources of Press TV said that Iran's cities, including Isfahan, had not been attacked by any foreign state.