Hezbollah Launches Largest Attack on Israel’s Northern Command in Recent Escalation

Retaliatory Strikes Follow Killing of Senior Hezbollah Commander; Civilian Casualties and Mass Displacements Reported.

Hezbollah Fires Largest Barrage of Rockets and Drones at Israel Amid Escalating Border Tensions

In a significant escalation of hostilities, Hezbollah launched a coordinated attack involving rockets and weaponized drones on nine Israeli military sites on Thursday. This marks the second consecutive day of intensified clashes along Lebanon’s southern border. The attacks were in retaliation for an Israeli strike on Tuesday that killed a senior Hezbollah field commander.

Hezbollah’s statement indicated that they fired volleys of Katyusha and Falaq rockets at six Israeli military locations. Al-Manar television reported over 100 rockets fired simultaneously. The group also launched attack drones targeting Israel’s northern command headquarters, an intelligence center, and a military barracks. According to a security source, this involved firing at least 30 attack drones, making it the largest drone attack by Hezbollah in the eight-month-old conflict.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire almost daily since the Gaza war began in October. However, the last two days have seen a sharp escalation following the Israeli strike that killed the Hezbollah commander. On Wednesday, Hezbollah claimed to have carried out at least eight attacks in retaliation.

Hezbollah Launches Largest Attack on Israel's Northern Command in Recent Escalation
Hezbollah strike on Israel’s Meron Airbase

Air raid sirens sounded across northern Israeli cities on Thursday, with Israeli officials reporting about 40 rockets fired from Lebanon. State broadcaster Kan aired footage showing numerous mid-air interceptions of rockets over Israeli towns, including Safed, approximately 12 km from the border.

In the early hours of Friday, a strike on a building east of the port city of Tyr resulted in the death of one civilian woman and injuries to more than a dozen others, many of them children, according to two Lebanese security sources. The Israeli military stated it was investigating the incident.

Israeli media reported that Hezbollah’s barrage of more than 200 rockets on Thursday sparked 15 fires in northern Israel. Video footage circulating on social media showed Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese border using a medieval trebuchet catapult to launch fireballs into southern Lebanon, reportedly aiming to set fires on the Lebanese side of the border.

Israeli strikes have killed over 300 Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, surpassing the group’s losses in the 2006 war, according to a Reuters tally. The number of civilian casualties stands at around 80. Attacks from Lebanon have killed 18 Israeli soldiers and 10 civilians, according to Israeli sources. The ongoing exchanges have displaced tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border.

Hezbollah Launches Largest Attack on Israel's Northern Command in Recent Escalation
Hezbollah striking the Israeli port

“Diplomatically or militarily, peace will be returned to our north. Israel will defend itself. There should not be any doubt about this whatsoever. This situation cannot be a sustained reality,” said Israeli government spokesperson David Mencer.

Group of Seven leaders, meeting in Italy, expressed deep concern about the escalating situation on the Israel-Lebanon border in a draft communique.

The latest wave of Hezbollah attacks came after the group launched over 215 rockets and drones into northern Israel, following the assassination of Hezbollah military commander Talib Sami Abdallah and three other high-ranking commanders in a drone strike in southern Lebanon.

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