Israel strikes deep inside Lebanon 

Aprilia Rine

Israel strikes deep inside Lebanon 
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Israel’s military has said it launched airstrikes deep into Lebanese territory, stating it targeted Hezbollah positions north of Beirut amid escalating exchanges between the two sides. The Lebanese militia reportedly retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced several air operations in Lebanon on Monday, noting that warplanes had struck “sites used by Hezbollah” around the Bekaa Valley in the country’s northeast.

Three strikes hit the village of Buday, around 55km (35 miles) northeast of the capital, Beirut, and targeted a Hezbollah truck convoy, unnamed Lebanese security sources told the Associated Press. 

A Hezbollah official who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity said that at least two fighters were killed in the strikes, adding that an Israeli munition had struck a food storage warehouse used for civilian purposes. Another unnamed Lebanese official added that a Lebanese Army regular was also seriously wounded in the raid, and noted that the soldier’s son had also sustained injuries, without elaborating.

The militia group later said it responded by firing 60 Katyusha rockets toward an Israeli Army command center in the occupied Golan Heights, which Israel seized following the Six-Day War of 1967. 

The strikes on Buday came after both Hezbollah and the IDF reported that an Israeli drone was shot down by a militia surface-to-air missile, with Israel’s military stating that the UAV fell into Lebanese territory. Hezbollah identified the drone as an Israeli Elbit Hermes 450, typically used for surveillance and reconnaissance. 

While cross-border clashes have occurred between the armed faction and Israeli troops since the war in Gaza began last year, IDF operations have plunged deeper into Lebanese territory in recent weeks. The group says it will stop its attacks on Israel after a ceasefire is reached in Gaza. More than 200 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in the latest flare-up, according to AP. 

Later on Monday, Hezbollah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem vowed further retaliation and boasted of the group’s significant arsenal, saying, “If the Israelis go too far, we will retaliate more. All what we have used until now in the fighting is the minimum of what we own.” 

READ MORE: Israel behind attacks on Iranian gas pipelines – NYT

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