2 Hezbollah Fighters Were Just Killed In Israeli Attacks In Baalbek

Israeli airstrikes in eastern Lebanon on Monday resulted in the deaths of at least two Hezbollah fighters, marking the first such attacks since tensions escalated across the borders.

Israel cited the targeting of a Hezbollah-affiliated air defense system in response to the downing of one of its drones earlier that day.

According to a Lebanese security source referenced by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the strikes hit a Hezbollah-owned building and warehouse near Baalbek, a stronghold of the group in the eastern Bekaa region. A convoy of trucks was reported as a hit as well.

In a subsequent statement, the Israeli army declared its fighter jets had targeted “sites used by Hezbollah’s air defense system” following the launch of a surface-to-air missile toward an unmanned aerial vehicle earlier that day.

Hezbollah reported earlier on Monday that its fighters had downed an Israeli drone over Iqlim al Tuffah, approximately 20 kilometers from the border, using a surface-to-air missile of the Hermes 450 type.

These Israeli strikes represent the first targeting of Hezbollah outside the southern region since the exchange of fire between the two sides during the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah’s deputy, Hassan Fadlallah, condemned Israel’s actions as an “escalation” during the funeral procession of a Hezbollah fighter who died in Syria. Fadlallah emphasized Hezbollah’s resolve and its commitment to respond appropriately to any aggression.

Israeli airstrikes have primarily been limited to border areas or deep in the south, with exceptions such as an attack on January 2nd targeting an apartment in the southern suburbs of Beirut killing Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri and six others.