An Israeli tank returns from the southern Gaza strip, in southern Israel, February 26, 2024.

Israeli Airstrikes In Lebanon's Bekaa Valley Kills Hezbollah Militants

Monday, 02/26/2024

Israeli airstrikes struck Lebanon's Bekaa Valley on Monday; the deepest point targeted since hostilities began in mid-October resulting in the deaths of two members of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

The strikes mark a significant escalation, representing attack on targets that are almost 100 kilometers from the traditional front.

Iran provides significant support to Hezbollah, as well as several other groups in the region designated as terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the Houthis in Yemen.

The Israeli military confirmed that the airstrikes targeted Hezbollah's air defenses in the Bekaa Valley in response to the downing of an Israeli drone by Hezbollah using a surface-to-air missile.

In retaliation to the air strikes, Hezbollah launched 60 Katyusha rockets at an Israeli military headquarters heightening tensions in the region amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah said in televised remarks delivered at the funeral of a Hezbollah fighter killed in recent days that "Its [Israel’s] aggression on Baalbek or any other areas will not remain without response."

Lebanese television station Al-Jadeed broadcasted images of smoke rising from the area, depicting the aftermath of the airstrikes. Additionally, an Israeli airstrike targeted a car in southern Lebanon, resulting in at least one death, as reported by Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

Hezbollah has been actively targeting Israeli border positions since the October 7 raid from the Gaza Strip by its Palestinian ally, Hamas, purportedly in support of Palestinians facing Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Earlier on Monday, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for shooting down an Israeli Hermes 450 drone over Lebanese territory.

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