Hezbollah fires 60 rockets at Israeli base in Golan after Baalbek airstrike


Hezbollah fired on Monday a volley of rockets from Lebanon at an Israeli military base in Syria's occupied Golan Heights, in response to Israel's deadly airstrikes in Lebanon's Baalbek.

Two Hezbollah members were killed in the Israeli strikes in the eastern Baalbek area, two security officials in Lebanon and a source close to Hezbollah told AFP.

"In response to the Zionist aggression near the city of Baalbek," fighters targeted an army base in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights "with 60 Katyusha rockets," Hezbollah said in a statement.

The Israeli army told AFP that "dozens of rockets" had been launched from Lebanon. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Israeli military had said the strikes near Baalbek targeted Hezbollah "air defense systems" in retaliation for the group downing one of its drones in south Lebanon earlier on Monday.

One of the Lebanese security sources said Israeli strikes hit a building used by Hezbollah in a Baalbek suburb, and a warehouse near Baalbek belonging to the group.

Both sources requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Hezbollah later announced two of its fighters had been killed by Israeli fire, with a source close to the group confirming they were killed in the Baalbek strikes.

The Israeli army said it struck Hezbollah "aerial defense" sites in the Bekaa valley in response "to the launch of a surface-to-air missile" which downed the Israeli drone.

It was the first Israeli attack on Hezbollah outside Lebanon's south since war erupted on October 7 between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, a Hezbollah ally.

- 'Determination' -

Later Monday an Israeli strike on a car in southern Lebanon killed at least one person, local rescuers told AFP, without providing further details.

Hezbollah said a third fighter had been killed by Israeli fire.

Hezbollah announced several attacks on Israeli sites and troops on Monday, with local media also reporting Israeli strikes on south Lebanon villages.

Since October 8, Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged near-daily fire, but strikes have been largely contained to the border area -- although Israel has on occasion launched attacks elsewhere in Lebanon.

During a funeral procession for one of the group's fighters, Hezbollah lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah lambasted the strikes on Baalbek, a bastion of the group near the border with Syria.

"This Zionist encroachment will not push us to retreat, it will rather increase our determination," Fadlallah said in a televised address.

The cross-border hostilities have killed at least 281 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including 44 civilians.

On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed since October, according to the Israeli army.

Residents on both sides of the border have been displaced by the fighting, and Israeli officials have threatened military action to restore security in Israel's north.

On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said there would be no let up in Israeli action against Hezbollah even if a ceasefire was secured in Gaza.

Hezbollah has said it will stop launching attacks on Israel if the Israeli military stops its Gaza offensive.

In January, a strike widely attributed to Israel killed Hamas' deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri and six militants in Hezbollah's south Beirut stronghold -- the most high-profile Hamas figure to be killed during the war.

Comments 3
Thumb i.report 26 February 2024, 20:57

The purpose behind these Hezbollah attacks appears to be twofold: to create an illusion of action and strength for the benefit of their loyal supporters, and to keep them content and deceived. By choosing unpopulated areas, they seek to avoid retaliation or condemnation from a wider audience while still maintaining the appearance of taking decisive measures to satisfy their base. This tactic is indicative of a calculated effort to manipulate perceptions and maintain a facade of strength and commitment without engaging in actions that could have more significant repercussions or draw widespread criticism.

Missing gabriel01 27 February 2024, 03:04

By analogy: The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion (in this case the spectrum of military action), but allow very lively debate within that spectrum. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on (in this case and like you said, the appearance of taking decisive measures to satisfy their base), while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. ~Noam Chomsky

Missing youssefhaddad 27 February 2024, 02:17

Wow, the gullible at Hezbollah keep coming back for more!
All the Shiites should go on the streets and prevent their men from conducting any military activities from their neighborhoods. End it this way before the great disaster happens.