Last Updated on August 5, 2020
President Donald Trump stated During a press conference that he was “confident” Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon was a planned terrorist attack after receiving intelligence on the incident from American generals.
The explosion has left a death tolls that stands in the dozens and counting at press time, and President Trump was asked about the source of the detonation during Tuesday’s COVID-19 press briefing.
“Are you confident that this was an attack and not an accident?” a reporter asked.
“Well, it would seem like it based on the explosion,” Trump said. “I’ve met with some of our great generals and just seemed to feel that it was. This was not a kind of manufacturing explosion type of event.”
“It seems to be, according to them, they would know better than me,” Trump continued. “But they seem to think it was an attack… it was a bomb of some kind, yes.”
Trump had previously stated that the explosion looks like “some kind of terrible attack,” and added, “Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families. The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon.”
The horrific explosion in Beirut comes amidst recent escalating tensions between Israel and Lebanon, as last week Israel placed significant military reinforcements on the border with Lebanon in retribution for soldiers allegedly killed by the militant group Hezbollah.
Hezbollah was instrumental in defeating an Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, and more recently has provided to support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
On Tuesday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had issued an official warning to Hezbollah that Israel “will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves.”