Hezbollah denies using Lebanon's port for arms smuggling

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Friday denied using Beirut's sea port to import arms in response to an accusation by Israel's United Nations envoy this week. 'I completely deny the claim of the Israeli representative in the Security Council that Hezbollah uses the Beirut port to transfer weapons or weapon components into Lebanon,' Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a television speech. He added that the Israeli comments were aimed at bringing multinational forces to impose controls over Lebanon's sea, air and land borders.

Reuters July 27, 2019 00:07:37 IST
Hezbollah denies using Lebanon's port for arms smuggling

Hezbollah denies using Lebanons port for arms smuggling

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Friday denied using Beirut's sea port to import arms in response to an accusation by Israel's United Nations envoy this week.

"I completely deny the claim of the Israeli representative in the Security Council that Hezbollah uses the Beirut port to transfer weapons or weapon components into Lebanon," Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a television speech.

He added that the Israeli comments were aimed at bringing multinational forces to impose controls over Lebanon's sea, air and land borders.

Israel's U.N. ambassador Danny Danon said on Tuesday that in 2018 and 2019 "Israel found that Iran and the Quds Forces have begun to advance the exploitation of civilian maritime channels". He said Beirut port "is now the Port of Hezbollah".

Lebanon's U.N ambassador Amal Mudallali said the accusation was tantamount to "direct threats" to Lebanon's civilian infrastructure. [nL2N24O1LT]

Iran set up Hezbollah in the early 1980s to battle Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon, which ended in 2000. Israel and Hezbollah fought another brief war in 2006 and Israel has called Hezbollah the biggest threat on its borders.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam and Angus McDowall; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.