Hezbollah says commander killed in Israeli attack in southern Lebanon

Hezbollah said Tuesday that Israeli forces killed one of its commanders in an attack in southern Lebanon, fueling concerns about the conflict escalating on another Israeli front.

The commander, Taleb Abdallah, also known as Abu Taleb, was among the highest-ranking Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon that Israel has killed since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7 sparked war in the Gaza Strip and inflamed tensions along the northern part of Israel. confine.

Abdallah's role in Hezbollah was not immediately clear. But the group has not referred to a dead fighter as “commander” since January, when Wissam Hassan al-Tawil, a commander of the group's Radwan unit, was killed in an attack. In a clear indication of Abdallah's seniority, Hezbollah published a photo of him with al-Tawil on Tuesday.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the attack.

Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese militia and political movement backed by Iran, and Israel have been bombing each other across the border for much of the past eight months, with more than 150,000 people on both sides of the border forced to flee their homes. But the intensity of the attacks has increased this month due to threats from top-level Israeli officials to take further military action.

Israel has targeted Hezbollah commanders with the aim of pushing the group north of the Litani River into Lebanon, hoping to prevent cross-border attacks and eventually allow Israeli civilians displaced by the fighting to return to their homes. Some experts have expressed skepticism that targeted killings can achieve this goal.

Last week, during a visit to northern Israel after a barrage of Hezbollah rockets caused fires that burned for days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a threat of “very intense action” to “restore security in the north.”

In a sign of the intensifying conflict, Israel this week struck deeper into northeastern Lebanon than it has done since the war in Gaza began. On Tuesday, the Israeli military said Hezbollah had fired about 50 rockets towards Israel from southern Lebanon.

In recent weeks, Hezbollah for the first time began targeting Israel's vaunted Iron Dome missile defense system.

Responding to Hamas's call to open a second front the day after its deadly assault on Israel, Hezbollah launched attacks in Israel on October 8. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said his group was trying to block Israeli troops along the border and limit its ability to attack Hamas in Gaza.

Hezbollah says more than 300 fighters have been killed in the latest round of fighting with Israel. The United Nations says around 80 Lebanese civilians have died. In Israel, authorities say 19 security officers and at least eight civilians have been killed.

Euan Ward AND Matthew Mpoke Bigg contributed to the reporting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *