Israeli jets attacked a Palestinian militant group's training base in southern Lebanon early Wednesday, the Israeli military and Lebanese witnesses said, hours after an Israeli border town was hit by rocket fire. The base located south of Beirut is operated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a small, Syrian-backed group that has been waging a decades long fight against the Jewish state.
"This is in response to the firing of projectile rockets last night toward Israeli communities," the military said. It said it views such attacks with "extreme severity" and holds Lebanon responsible. Witnesses reported warplanes roared over the PFLP-GC guerrilla base at Naameh, a hilltop base overlooking the Mediterranean five miles (7 kilometers) south of Beirut, and the sound of two booms were heard. Other witnesses said two air-to-surface missiles were fired and white smoke billowed from the ground. Police had no immediate confirmation of an airstrike, but Lebanese troops at a checkpoint near Naameh confirmed an air raid and sealed off the area, preventing journalists from approaching.
It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties from the raid on the target, a maze of concrete fortified tunnels built inside a hill that the PFLP-GC had used as a base for decades.
The airstrike was launched after three rockets landed in a residential area of Kiryat Shemona. The Israeli army said the rockets damaged some property but caused no injuries. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Both Hezbollah guerrillas and Palestinian militants operate in nearby southern Lebanon, reports the AP. I.L.