UN: Major Increase in Israeli Warplanes Over South Lebanon

Multiple Airspace Violations in Past Two Weeks

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has confirmed a dramatic increase in the number of Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace, with several incidents reported in the past two weeks alone.

Israeli warplanes wandering into Lebanon are not a new phenomenon, but UNIFIL reports that this year has seen twice the rate of overflights as 2012, and not all of these are small 1-2 plane incursions.

On March 14, an estimated 25 Israeli warplanes conducted four separate flights into Lebanese airspace, heading up virtually the entire coast before turning back just short of Syria.

Israel launched air strikes along the Syria-Lebanon border in January and is believed to be considering a full-scale war with Syria, so many of the incursions have been chalked up as posturing for a potential Syria war. Yet Israeli military leaders have talked up the “value” of invading Lebanon yet again, so this can’t be ruled out either.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.