Israel strikes Baalbek after Hezbollah multi-drone attack on Tiberias


Israeli jets raided areas in the Baalbek district overnight after Hezbollah launched multiple drones at a base near the Israeli city of Tiberias -- one of its deepest attacks into Israeli territory in months of cross-border fighting.

The airstrikes that occurred around midnight Wednesday struck the hills and mountains overlooking the town of Brital in northeast Lebanon close to the border with Syria. There was no word on casualties.

The area that was attacked is a Hezbollah stronghold and is a vital route that links the group’s positions in eastern Lebanon with Syria’s Qalamoun mountains, where Hezbollah also has military presence.

The Israeli military said there were no injuries from the strike.

The Israeli strikes came hours after Hezbollah attacked with explosive drones an Israeli military base near the city of Tiberias.

Israel and Hamas ally Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily fire following the Palestinian group's October 7 attack on southern Israel that sparked the war in Gaza.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hezbollah said it launched dozens of rockets at military positions in northern Israel.

It attacked "the Meron base with dozens of Katyusha rockets, heavy rockets and artillery shells" while also targeting a barracks with "heavy rockets", the group said.

The attacks were "part of the response to the assassination carried out by the Israeli enemy in the south" the previous day, it said.

Israel's army said sirens sounded in Meron on Wednesday without providing further details.

Hezbollah said later its fighters had "launched an aerial attack using a number of drones" on the base west of Tiberias, which lies about 30 kilometers from the border with Lebanon.

It said the attack had targeted "surveillance and detection systems" at the base, adding that "it accurately hit its designated targets and achieved what it wanted from this limited operation".

Hezbollah's attacks had previously been restricted to Israeli towns and bases on the border with Lebanon.

On Tuesday evening, Hezbollah said Israeli fire had killed its member Hussein Makki, who was identified as a field commander by a source close to the group.

The Israeli army later confirmed it had launched the strike that killed Makki.

It described him as "a senior field commander" in Hezbollah responsible for planning and executing "numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and territory".

"He previously served as the commander of Hezbollah's forces in the coastal region," the army added.

Lebanon's official National News Agency had reported two people killed in an "enemy drone strike that targeted a car" on the main road linking Tyre and Al-Husha.

But another source close to Hezbollah later told AFP that while Makki was killed, the other person was injured.

At least 412 people have been killed in Lebanon in more than seven months of cross-border violence, mostly militants but also including 79 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in areas on both sides of the border.

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