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Hezbollah targeted by strikes attributed to Israel in Lebanon and Syria

Lebanese Hezbollah was attacked. Friday the target of massive strikes attributed to Israel with the elimination of one of its leaders in Lebanon and the death of several of its fighters in Syria, against a backdrop of fears of a regional conflagration.

The Israeli army did not comment on the strikes in Syria, but said it had killed “deputy commander of Hezbollah's rocket and missile unit”, Ali Naïm, in southern Lebanon. , in an airstrike.

The Shiite movement announced “the martyrdom” of seven of its fighters, including Ali Naïm, without specifying where or when they were killed.

Strikes in Syria targeted “a rocket depot belonging to Hezbollah” in northern Aleppo, killing 36 Syrian soldiers, seven Hezbollah fighters and three other fighters pro-Iranian, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH).

According to this NGO, this is the heaviest toll for the Syrian army in Israeli strikes since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on October 7.

Moscow, the main ally of the Damascus regime, accused Israel of having carried out “categorically unacceptable” strikes in Syria, denouncing potentially “dangerous” regional consequences.

Hezbollah targeted by strikes attributed to Israel in Lebanon and Syria

Israeli strike in Syria © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Sophie RAMIS

Since the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes targeting the army and pro-Iranian groups, including Hezbollah, a supporter of Bashar al-Assad's regime .

Israel, which rarely comments on these strikes, has intensified its bombings since the start of the war in Gaza, notably targeting positions of Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas.

At the same time, Israel and the Shiite movement engage in daily exchanges of fire along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he visited northern Israel on Friday “to get an overview of the actions being taken to prepare for more eliminations and actions – in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere”.

– “Instability” –

“Syria and Lebanon have become an extended battlefield from from an Israeli point of view”, deciphers Riad Kahwaji, director of the Near East and Gulf Institute for Military Analyzes (Inegma).

Hezbollah targeted by strikes attributed to Israel in Lebanon and Syria

Israeli bombardment in southern Lebanon, near the border with Israel, March 26, 2024 © AFP – RABIH DAHER

“Israeli warplanes strike targets in both countries almost daily in a sustained effort to destroy Hezbollah's military infrastructure and tarnish the group's image,” it says to AFP.

“Syria is the main supply route linking Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon (…) Israel struck this line of supplies, destroyed arms depots and eliminated the leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (the ideological army of Iran, Editor's note) in Syria”, adds the expert.

Friday's attack is the second against Syria in 24 hours, after a first Israeli strike which killed two civilians, according to the official Syrian agency.

– Modified Israeli “Calculations” –

Hezbollah claimed several attacks against Israeli positions on Friday, including “in response to attacks by the Israeli enemy in Damascus and Aleppo.”

The war between Israel and Hamas was triggered by the attack by the Islamist movement which left around 1,160 dead in Israel, mainly civilians, according to a count by the AFP based on official Israeli figures.

Hezbollah targeted by strikes attributed to Israel in Lebanon and Syria

An Israeli fighter jet flies over the border area with southern Lebanon, March 27, 2024 © AFP – Jalaa MAREY

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after this attack and its large-scale offensive in Gaza left 32,623 people dead, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The Israeli army announced this month that it had hit “around 4,500 Hezbollah targets” in Lebanon and Syria since the start of the Gaza war.

Since October 7, at least 347 people have been killed in Lebanon – mostly Hezbollah fighters and at least 68 civilians -, according to a count by the AFP. On the Israeli side, ten soldiers and eight civilians were killed according to the army.

“Israel is increasing pressure on Hezbollah, the Syrian army and other Iranian-backed groups in Syria and Lebanon because it knows it “It is not in their interest to intensify the fighting,” Lina Khatib told AFP.

“Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel change Israel's calculations”, which “no longer tolerates the current status quo and will likely continue to escalate its strikes in Syria to considerably weaken the pro-Iranian front,” said this analyst for the Chatham House think tank.


All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116