Israeli Airstrikes Target Major Hezbollah Compound in Lebanon Following Drone Downing

By Yoni Weiss

An anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from Lebanon, as it seen over the Golan Heights, Tuesday. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

Overnight Monday, Israeli fighter jets struck a significant Hezbollah compound deep in Lebanon after the terror group downed an Israeli drone. The IDF reported that the airstrikes targeted a site in the Baalbek region belonging to Hezbollah’s Unit 4400, as well as sites in southern Lebanon. Unit 4400 is responsible for logistical force build-up, including delivering weaponry to and within Lebanon. Hezbollah, backed by Iran, receives much of its arms from Tehran.

Lebanese media reported strikes in the Hermel District near Baalbek, with sources within Hezbollah informing AFP that three of its members were killed. “Three Hezbollah members were killed by nine Israeli missile strikes that targeted a convoy of tankers and a building” in Hermel, according to a Hezbollah source. Three additional people were wounded.

A Hezbollah social media channel identified the deceased as Bilal a-Din from Majdel Selm, Abbas Nasser from Tayr Felsay, and Hadi Musaa from Shebaa, referring to them as martyrs “on the road to Jerusalem.”

The attack marked one of the deepest IDF strikes into Lebanon, with Hermel located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the Israeli border.

Tuesday morning saw additional conflict, including a barrage of 50 rockets launched at the Golan Heights. The IDF’s air defenses also downed a “suspicious aerial target” off the coast of Haifa, and a drone launched by an Iran-backed militia in Iraq targeted the southern city of Eilat.

Hezbollah claimed to have launched anti-aircraft missiles at an Israeli fighter jet involved in the midnight strike, “forcing it to retreat,” though the IDF did not report any jets coming under fire.

Besides the strike in Baalbek, the IDF said it struck several other Hezbollah targets, including a military compound and two buildings in southern Lebanon’s Aitaroun. These strikes were in response to Hezbollah downing an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle over southern Lebanon on Monday.

Hezbollah claimed to have intercepted a Hermes 900 UAV, a large surveillance and attack drone used by the Israeli military. The IDF confirmed the drone was hit by a surface-to-air missile and is investigating the incident. This marks the fifth IDF drone downed by Hezbollah over southern Lebanon in recent months, with the group claiming two Hermes 450 drones and three Hermes 900 models.

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