IDF says it killed half of Hezbollah commanders in southern Lebanon


Beirut/Jerusalem: The Israeli military says it has assassinated more than half of all Hezbollah commanders in southern Lebanon, after artillery and fighter jets hit about 40 targets near the two countries’ border.

It came after Hezbollah enacted a complex drone attack at an Israeli border village, in response for earlier strikes by Israel.

A Lebanese villager looks through a broken window of his house damaged by Israeli shelling in Kfar Kila, a border village with Israel, last week.

A Lebanese villager looks through a broken window of his house damaged by Israeli shelling in Kfar Kila, a border village with Israel, last week.Credit: AP

The Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been waging their worst hostilities in nearly two decades since war erupted in Gaza in October, stirring concern about the risk of a wider and more destructive conflict between the heavily armed foes.

The Israel Defence Forces said the strikes around Ayta al-Shaab, about 3 kilometres inside the Lebanese border, had hit infrastructure including storage facilities and weapons in an area it said was used extensively by Hezbollah forces.

“There is continuous offensive action by IDF forces in all of southern Lebanon as well as in other parts of Lebanon. The operational results are very impressive,” Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement following an operational meeting at the military’s Northern Command. He said half of Hezbollah’s commanders in southern Lebanon had been killed.

People walk past a building destroyed by Israeli shelling, in Kfar Kila, southern Lebanon. Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces have been exchanging fire since a day after the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.

People walk past a building destroyed by Israeli shelling, in Kfar Kila, southern Lebanon. Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces have been exchanging fire since a day after the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.Credit: AP

A Hezbollah official dismissed the assertion as “completely worthless” and aimed only to boost Israeli morale. He said the group regularly published pictures and biographical details of fighters killed in the fighting.

On Wednesday, the movement held a funeral for a senior commander, Hussein Azkoul, killed earlier this week by Israel.

Speaking at the funeral, senior Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah indicated that Azkoul had played a role in developing Hezbollah’s drone and missile capabilities, taking the battle with Israel into “a new phase”.



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