Israeli army launches airstrikes in eastern Lebanon

Strike targeted Hezbollah air defense system in northern Baalbek area, says army

14:33 - 18/04/2024 Perşembe
File photo
File photo

An Israeli airstrike targeted a building in a residential neighborhood near the city of Baalbek, eastern Lebanon, on Wednesday, marking the deepest attack into Lebanese territory in the current clashes between the Israeli army and the Hezbollah group.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported that the strike targeted a building housing shops in a residential neighborhood of the town of Iaat, adjacent to Baalbek, about 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) north of the country's southern border with Israel.

The agency did not disclose whether there were casualties as a result of the bombing.

Previously, the farthest north any Israeli attack had ventured during the current clashes with Hezbollah was the southern suburbs of the capital Beirut, about 85 kilometers from the border.

The Israeli army stated that it had carried out an airstrike on the area north of Baalbek by warplanes, targeting "a Hezbollah air defense system."

In a statement posted on X, the army added that Israeli forces had separately "carried out a short while ago an attack to eliminate a threat in the Kawkaba area" in the district of Hasbaiyya, southern Lebanon.

As of 1855 GMT, neither Hezbollah nor Lebanon commented on the Israeli army's statement.

Over the past 24 hours, tensions have escalated between Israel and Hezbollah on the southern border of Lebanon, a day after three Hezbollah fighters were killed by Israeli fire.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli army announced that 14 of its soldiers were wounded, including six with serious injuries, in an attack by Hezbollah using drones and missiles on the Arab al-Aramshe area in northern Israel.

Hezbollah previously announced in a statement "launching a composite attack on the headquarters of the newly established reconnaissance military unit in Arab al-Aramshe."

After the attack, Israel escalated its military operations, targeting several villages and towns in southern Lebanon, according to the state's news agency.

In return, Hezbollah intensified its attacks on what it said were sites and barracks belonging to the Israeli army near the border with Lebanon.

Tension has escalated along Lebanon's border with Israel amid an exchange of cross-border attacks between Hezbollah and Israeli forces as Tel Aviv pressed ahead with its deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, which has killed at least 33,900 people since last October following a Hamas attack.

At least 275 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces since then, according to Lebanese media.

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