"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Sunday, April 07, 2024

Israeli Strikes Target Eastern Lebanon - Asharq Al Awsat

 Israeli strikes targeted eastern Lebanon, where Hezbollah has a strong presence, at dawn on Sunday, a source close to the Iran-backed group said, but no casualties were reported.

"Israeli strikes targeted two areas in the Bekaa Valley, Janta and Sifri," the source told AFP in the Baalbek region in Lebanon's east, AFP reported.

Janta is an arid, mountainous region close to the border with Syria, while Sifri is in the centre of the Bekaa Valley.

A source in Lebanon's Civil Defense Department said there were no casualties from the strikes.

Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily cross-border fire since the Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, triggering the war in Gaza.

Hezbollah targets Israeli positions close to the border, while Israel retaliates with raids that go deeper and deeper into Lebanese territory and carries out strikes against the Shiite Islamist group's officials.

The latest strikes in eastern Lebanon came after Hezbollah announced on Saturday evening it had shot down an Israeli Hermes 450 drone over Lebanese territory.

The Israeli military confirmed that "a drone operating in Lebanese airspace was shot down" by what it said was a surface-to-air missile and had fallen in Lebanese territory.

Israel launched similar strikes against Hezbollah targets in the Bekaa Valley in February after the group said it had shot down a similar type of Israeli drone.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Friday that his movement had not yet used its "main" weapons and reiterated that Hezbollah would cease its attacks only when the war in Gaza ends.

The cross-border hostilities have killed at least 349 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters, but also at least 68 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

The fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people in southern Lebanon and in northern Israel, where the military says 10 soldiers and eight civilians have been killed.


IDF hits Hezbollah air defenses in northeast Lebanon after terror group downs drone - The Times of Israel

 The Israel Defense Forces said Sunday that it carried out airstrikes against sites belonging to Hezbollah’s air defense unit in northeastern Lebanon’s Baalbek overnight, after the terror group shot down a military drone.

The targets included a compound and three additional infrastructures relating to Hezbollah’s air defenses in the Baalbek District, the IDF said.

A source close to the terror group told AFP that the strikes hit two areas in the region: Janta an arid, a mountainous region close to the border with Syria, and Sifri, which is in the center of the Bekaa Valley.

A source in Lebanon’s Civil Defense Department said there were no casualties from the strikes.

Baalbek, an area identified in the past as a Hezbollah stronghold, is nearly 100 kilometers from the Israeli border. The overnight strike marked the fifth time amid the war in the Gaza Strip that Israel struck Hezbollah positions in the Baalbek area.


Israeli army strikes Bekaa, Baalbek in eastern Lebanon - Middle East Monitor

Israeli warplanes carried out on Sunday a series of air strikes targeting the central Bekaa and Baalbek region in eastern Lebanon.

“Israeli warplanes carried out several raids on the Shaara area in the eastern Lebanon mountain range near the town of Janta in the central Bekaa region,” a security source told Anadolu.

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, pointed out that other raids targeted an empty warehouse in the town of Al-Safari in Baalbek, resulting in no casualties.

Tension has flared along the border between Lebanon and Israel amid intermittent exchanges of weapons fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah, in the deadliest clashes since the two sides fought a full-scale war in 2006.


Israeli enemy renews attacks on Lebanese towns - SANA

 Beirut, SANA- The Israeli enemy renewed on Sunday its attacks on a number of villages and towns in southern Lebanon.

“Israeli warplanes targeted on Sunday at dawn the town of al-Safari in Baalbek district and the heights of the East Lebanon mountain range in the outskirts of the town of Jinta in al- Shaara district in eastern Lebanon,” according to Lebanese National News Agency.

Last night, Israeli enemy aircraft launched two air attacks, the first targeted the town of al-Taybeh on Deir Siryan road, and the second the town of al- Odaisseh in the south, while the outskirts of the town of Zebqin were subjected to Israeli artillery shelling.

During the night, the Israeli enemy forces also fired flares in the airspace of the heights of the town of Shebaa and above the villages of the western and central sectors, reaching the outskirts of the towns of al-Mansouri, Majdal Zun and al-Shaitiya.


2 killed, 2 wounded in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon - Naharnet

 An Israeli strike on the southern border town of Aita al-Shaab killed two people and injured one Friday, the National News Agency said, while another strike on Kfarkela injured one person.

One Israeli soldier and three Lebanese civilians were earlier wounded in overnight cross-border fire between Hezbollah and the Israeli army.

The three Lebanese civilians were injured in an overnight strike on the southern border town of Kfarhamam in the Arqoob region while the Israeli army said Friday that one soldier was wounded in a Hezbollah overnight attack on Metula.

Hezbollah said it attacked soldiers and military vehicles in the Malkia post and another military vehicle in Metula.

Later on Friday, Israeli warplanes raided Kfarkela, Tayr Harfa, Aita al-Shaab, the outskirts of Shebaa and houses in Zalloutieh and Yarin, while Hezbollah targeted the Hadb Yaroun post, a group of soldiers in Manara, and surveillance equipment in the Zar'it barracks.

An Israeli tank also shelled Kfarkela and al-Khiam.

On Thursday Hezbollah carried out five attacks on posts in northern Israel and the occupied Kfarshouba Hills and Shebaa Farms near Kfarhamam.


Israel bombs 'Hezbollah sites' in Baalbek region in response to drone downing -Naharnet

 Israel's military said Sunday its warplanes had struck Hezbollah sites in eastern Lebanon, where the Iran-backed group has a strong presence, in retaliation for one of its drones being downed.

A source close to Hezbollah told an AFP correspondent in eastern Lebanon's Baalbek region that the strikes targeted Janta and Sifri in the Bekaa Valley.

The Israeli military said on Telegram that "fighter jets struck a military complex and three other terrorist infrastructure sites belonging to Hezbollah's air defense network" in the region.

It said the strikes were "in retaliation for the attack" in which an Israeli army "drone was shot down" by a surface-to-air missile on Saturday.

Sifri is in the Bekaa Valley plain, while nearby Janta is an arid mountainous region closer to the border with Syria.

A source from Lebanon's civil defense said there were no casualties.

Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily cross-border fire since Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, triggering war in Gaza.

Hamas ally Hezbollah generally targets Israeli positions close to the border, while Israel has carried out deeper raids into Lebanese territory, also targeting commanders from Hezbollah.

Hezbollah announced it had shot down an Israeli Hermes 900 drone over Lebanese territory on Saturday evening, after initially identifying it as a Hermes 450.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency (NNA) said the target of the Israeli strikes in Sifri was a "hangar."

Israel launched similar strikes against Hezbollah targets in the Bekaa Valley in February after the group said it had shot down another Israeli drone.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Friday that his group had not yet used its "main" weapons, and reiterated that Hezbollah would cease its attacks only when the war in Gaza ends.

The cross-border hostilities have killed at least 359 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters, but also at least 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

The fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people in southern Lebanon and in northern Israel, where the Israeli military says 10 soldiers and eight civilians have been killed.

On Saturday the Risala Scout association, which is affiliated with the Hezbollah-allied Amal movement and operates emergency teams in south Lebanon, said a rescuer had died.

An official from the group told AFP he had been wounded days earlier in south Lebanon.

Separately, the NNA reported that a woman wounded previously in an Israeli drone strike in the border village of Yarin had also died of her wounds.

The hostilities have raised fears of all-out conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, which last went to war in 2006.


Saturday, April 06, 2024

Sünni grubun Hizbullah'a yakınlaşması, ABD ve müttefiklerini kaygılandırıyor - YDH

 YDH- İslami Grup'un hem Sünni hem de Şii direnişini benimsemeye karar vermesinden rahatsızlık duyan Arap ve Batılı ülkeler dayanışmayı baltalamayı amaçlarken bu gelişme, bölünme ve mezhepçilik geçmişine sahip Lübnan'da olumlu kabul ediliyor. Bilal Nur ed-Din'in The Cradle'da ''Brothers in arms: the renewal of Shia-Sunni resistance against Israel'' başlığıyla yayınlanan yazısını Keda Bakış YDH için çevirdi. 


Müslüman Kardeşler ile bağlantılı bir Lübnan partisi olan Cemaat-i İslamiyye (JI veya 'İslami Grup') hem siyasi hem de askeri alanda önemli bir canlanma yaşadı. Bu canlanma, 1982 yılında kurulan silahlı grubu Fecr Güçleri'nin Lübnan'ın İsrail ile olan güney sınırı yakınlarındaki son çatışmalara katılmasıyla vurgulandı. Bu çatışmalar, 10 Mart'ta Lübnan'ın güneyindeki el-Habariye köyünde İsrail güçleri tarafından öldürülen 3 grup üyesinin ölümüyle sonuçlandı.

Lübnan'da 1964 yılında kurulan Cemaat-i İslami, Lübnanlı Sünni nüfus arasında önemli bir güce sahiptir. Beyrut, Bekaa, Sayda, Trablus ve el-Arkub gibi çeşitli bölgelerde geniş kapsamlı bir destek tabanına sahip. el-Cezire Araştırmalar Merkezi'nden Şefik Şukayr'a göre grup, Lübnan'da önemli bir nüfuza sahip ve Saad Hariri'nin Gelecek Hareketi'nden sonra en etkili ikinci grup olarak görülüyor. Buna rağmen parlamentoda yeterli temsile sahip değil; mevcut yasama organında sadece bir üyesi (İmad el-Hut) var.

Hizbullah ile işbirliği

Cemaat-i İslami'nin direniş faaliyetlerinin yeniden canlanması, Lübnan Sünni toplumunun pek çok üyesinde, özellikle de ABD'nin müttefiki olan Arap devletleriyle aynı safta yer alan ve Müslüman Kardeşler'e şüpheyle yaklaşanlarda endişe yarattı.

Bu tedirginlik Sünni toplum içindeki seküler kesimler tarafından da paylaşılmaktadır. Bu nedenle Cemaat-i İslami Genel Sekreteri Şeyh Muhammed Takkuş'un güney sınırı boyunca İsrail'e karşı Hizbullah ile askeri işbirliğinin önemini vurgulaması Sünni Lübnan'ın dikkatini çekti.

Gruplarının askeri operasyonlarıyla ilgili olarak "Cemaat-i İslami'nin İsrail güçlerine yönelik saldırılarının bir kısmı Hizbullah'la koordinasyon halinde olan Hamas'la koordinasyon halindeydi" diyen Takkuş, Cemaat-i İslami'nin Hizbullah'la doğrudan işbirliğinin "artmakta olduğunu ve bunun sahaya yansıdığını" da sözlerine ekledi.

Hizbullah, çok sayıda Fars Körfezi Arap ülkesi tarafından  ''terörist örgüt'' olarak etiketlendi. Bu devletler tarihsel olarak Lübnan'a, özellikle de Sünni siyasi partilere mali destek sağlamada önemli bir rol oynamıştır.

Şubat 2024'te Müstakbel Hareketi lideri Saad Hariri, Lübnan'ın Sünni nüfusu arasında aşırıcılığın arttığını algılaması halinde müdahale etmeye hazır olduğunu ifade etti. Bu açıklama yaygın olarak Fars Körfezi ülkelerinin Hariri'nin Lübnan siyasetine olası dönüşünü desteklediklerini gösteren bir sinyal olarak yorumlandı.

2022'de siyaset sahnesinden çekilen Hariri'nin yeniden ortaya çıkması, Cemaat-i İslami gibi diğer Sünni hareketlerin Lübnan'daki Sünni halk arasında artan etkisine bağlı olacaktır.


Nasrallah says Lebanon front to remain active as long as there's war in Gaza - Naharnet

 Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday warned that Israel “will regret it if it launches any war on Lebanon,” stressing that Hezbollah is “fully prepared for any war.”

“If they want war, they are welcome, and the Israelis know what war with Lebanon means,” Nasrallah said in an annual speech marking Quds Day.

“We have not used the main weapons nor the main forces and we have not called in the reserves,” Nasrallah noted, pointing out that Hezbollah “does not fear a war … but has so far managed its battle according to a vision and a strategy.”

“Our stance regarding the Lebanese front has not changed: when the war stops in Gaza it will stop here,” Nasrallah said.

“Lebanon's front will remain active and this is settled, seeing as it is linked to the Gaza front,” he stated.

Adding that “the axis of resistance is heading to a historic and major victory,” Nasrallah said Iran’s response to the deadly strike on its consulate in Damascus will “inevitably” come.

“Everyone must prepare themselves, arrange their matters and be careful when the Iranian side responds to the targeting of the Iranian consulate and to the Zionist enemy's possible response to the Iranian response,” Nasrallah said.

He also described the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus as “a pivotal incident that will have consequences.”

“The martyr Mohammad Reza Zahedi lived with us for long years and made huge services to the resistance in Lebanon,” Nasrallah said, referring to the top Iranian Revolutionary Guard general who was killed in the Israeli strike.

“The martyr Mohammad Reza Zahedi played a historic role in our path,” Nasrallah said.

Monday's strike in the Syrian capital leveled the five-story consular annex of the Iranian embassy and killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, two of them generals.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Israel "will be punished" for the consulate strike.

Israel has not commented on the strike, but analysts saw it as an escalation of its campaign against Iran and its regional proxies that runs the risk of triggering a wider war beyond the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Israel said Thursday it was strengthening its defenses and pausing leave for combat units following Iran's threats to retaliate.


Lebanon-Israel frontier flare-up kills five fighters - The National

 Israel escalated its bombardment of south Lebanon overnight on Friday, killing at least five militant fighters, following a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in which he described the Iranian embassy strike in Damascus as a "turning point".

Three of the fighters killed belonged to the Amal Movement, a Hezbollah-allied political party that officially joined the conflict in February. The other two were members of Hezbollah.

The hours before and after Mr Nasrallah’s Quds Day speech – highly anticipated following Israel’s strike on the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus on April 1 – were tense. The strike sparked fears of a broader escalation, with Israel temporarily closing at least 28 embassies following the threat of retaliation.


8 Hezbollah, Amal fighters killed in Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon - Arab News

 BEIRUT: Israeli airstrikes on southern Lebanon killed eight members of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement on Saturday.

A civil defense paramedic also died of his wounds after being shot in the head by Israeli forces several days ago.
Burkan rockets launched by Hezbollah hit an Israeli military site in the Western Galilee region.
Israeli military reconnaissance aircraft flew over the villages of the western and central sectors throughout Friday night into Saturday, reaching the outskirts of the city of Tyre.
The Israeli army also fired flash bombs over the border villages adjacent to the Blue Line in the western and central sectors.
At dawn, Israeli forces fired weapons toward the outskirts of the towns of Ramyah and Aita Al-Shaab from their positions.
Saturday was marked by intensive Israeli airstrikes on targets in southern Lebanon.
Jets raided a courtyard near Beaufort Castle in the Nabatieh area, north of the Litani Line, targeting an abandoned room.
The town of Marjayoun was hit by Israeli airstrikes on Friday night for the first time since the start of hostilities on Oct. 8, targeting a center affiliated with the Amal Movement, a Hezbollah ally.
Hezbollah, a close ally of the Palestinian group Hamas, says its campaign aims to pressure Israel to end its war in Gaza.
The town of Khiam was hit by intense artillery and phosphorus shelling in the early morning.
Israeli jets also attacked a house in the town of Tayr Harfa, without causing casualties.
Another airstrike targeted the town of Labbouneh on the outskirts of Naqoura.
Lebanon’s civil defense crews worked throughout Friday night to recover the bodies of two victims from under the rubble of a destroyed home in Mays Al-Jabal, which was targeted by Israeli airstikes.
Israeli Army Radio said that warning sirens sounded in the town of Shlomi in the Western Galilee.
Hezbollah said that it targeted a group of Israeli soldiers near the military site of Ramya with artillery fire.
It also announced the targeting of the Israeli military site of Malikiya with “a precision missile strike.”
Hezbollah also targeted the Israeli site of Jal Al-Alam in the Western Galilee.
According to the government displacement crisis management committee in Lebanon, hostile operations have resulted in 331 deaths and about 1,000 injuries.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Syrian Ambassador Condemns Israeli Strike on Iranian Consulate in Damascus as Unprecedented Violation of International Norms - The Syiran Observer

Ambassador Hossam El-Din Ala, Syria’s Representative to the Arab League, voiced grave concerns over Israel’s military actions in Gaza and its assaults on Syria and Lebanon, highlighting a significant threat to both regional and international stability. During an extraordinary session of the Arab League Council focused on the situation in Palestine, Ambassador Ala criticized the recent Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, emphasizing the deliberate targeting of a diplomatic site in a populated area during peak hours, which resulted in casualties among both Iranian diplomats and Syrian civilians. This act, according to Ala, not only breaches Syrian sovereignty but also sets a dangerous precedent by violating the Vienna Conventions and international law principles.

Ambassador Ala denounced the aggression as a severe infringement of global norms, appreciating the Arab League and fellow Arab nations’ condemnation of the attack, and cautioning against its potentially perilous repercussions on regional peace. He further accused Israel of attempting ethnic cleansing and forced displacement in Gaza, with continued support from the US and Western nations exacerbating violations of international regulations.

Highlighting the ongoing support for the Palestinian draft resolution to counter the so-called Zionist genocide in Gaza, Ambassador Ala reiterated Syria’s solidarity with the Palestinian cause for self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, urging accountability for the occupying forces’ atrocities.


Syria Today – UN Security Council Fails to Condemn Damascus Strike - The Syrian Observer

 The United States, Britain and France on Wednesday opposed a Russian-drafted U.N. Security Council statement that would have condemned an attack on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria, which Tehran has blamed on Washington’s ally Israel, Reuters reported.

Press statements by the 15-member council have to be agreed by consensus. Diplomats said the U.S., backed by France and Britain, told council colleagues that many of the facts of what happened on Monday in Damascus remained unclear and there was no consensus among council members during a meeting on Tuesday.

“This serves as a clear illustration of the double standards employed by the Western ‘troika’ and their actual, rather than declarative, approach to legality and order in the international context,” Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said in a post on X.

The U.N. Security Council has issued statements in the past condemning attacks on diplomatic premises. The European Union on Wednesday condemned the strike – saying the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel must be respected – and called on countries to show restraint.

The U.S. says it has not confirmed the status of the building struck in Damascus, but that it would be concerned if it was a diplomatic facility.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack, which destroyed a consular building adjacent to the main embassy complex, killing seven members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Iran has accused Israel of violating the founding U.N. Charter, international law, and also cited several conventions.


Geagea says Hezbollah should bear responsibility for war's destruction and deaths - Naharnet

 Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea has held Hezbollah responsible for the losses resulting from its cross-border conflict with Israel.

“We have incurred 350 to 400 victims in addition to the destruction of dozens of villages, direct economic losses that surpass millions of dollars and indirect losses that no one can accurately estimate,” Geagea lamented in a Ramadan iftar banquet in Maarab.

Referring to Hezbollah and possibly Iran, the LF leader emphasized that “those who took the decision to implicate Lebanon should bear the responsibility and consequences.”

He added: “The government should immediately work on implementing Resolution 1701, because we have an interest in that. That would be accompanied by the deployment of the Lebanese Army along the southern Lebanese border, so that it defends every inch of Lebanese land, especially that everyone is behind it and the Arab countries and the entire world would support it and assist it.”


Thursday, April 04, 2024

Brothers in arms: the renewal of Shia-Sunni resistance against Israel - The Cradle

 Recently, Jama’a al-Islamiyya (JI or the ‘Islamic Group’) – a Lebanese party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood – has made a notable resurgence on the political and military scene. This comeback was marked by the active involvement of its armed wing, the Fajr Forces, established in 1982, in recent confrontations along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel.

The clashes led to the loss of 3 group members, who fell victim to Israeli forces in the southern Lebanese village of Al-Habbariyeh on 10 March.

The Islamic Group, rooted in Lebanon since 1964, commands significant influence within the Lebanese Sunni community. It boasts a network of supporters that spans various regions, including Beirut, the Bekaa, Sidon, Tripoli, and Al-Arqoub. 

Chafik Choucair, a researcher at the Al-Jazeera Center for Studies, argues that the group holds considerable sway in Lebanon, given that “it ranks second after the Future Movement” of Saad Hariri. However, it lacks a proportional parliamentary representation. “In the current parliament, for example, it has only one representative, Imad al-Hout,” he explains.

‘Cooperation with Hezbollah’

The revival of the Islamic Group’s resistance operations has stirred unease among many in the Lebanese Sunni community, particularly those aligned with US-allied Arab states that view the Muslim Brotherhood with skepticism, as well as secular segments of this community.

So when JI’s Secretary-General Sheikh Muhammad Takkoush told AP on 29 March that military cooperation with Hezbollah was vital in the fight against Israel on the southern border, Sunni Lebanon sat up and took notice.

“Part of (the JI’s attacks against Israeli forces) were in coordination with Hamas, which coordinates with Hezbollah,” Takkoush revealed about his groups’ military operations, adding that JI’s direct cooperation with Hezbollah “is on the rise and this is being reflected in the field.” 

Hezbollah is designated as a “terrorist organization” in many Persian Gulf Arab states that have long served as Lebanon’s most critical financial patrons, particularly for the country’s Sunni political parties.

As recently as February 2024, Saad Hariri, head of the Future Movement, said, “If I sense that Lebanon’s Sunnis are leaning toward extremism, then I will intervene.” Many, however, understood this to represent a green light from Persian Gulf states for the former prime minister – who withdrew from politics in 2022 – to return to his leading role in Lebanese politics if other Sunni movements, including the Islamic Group, began to gain too much support from the country’s Sunni public.


Bodies of 6 foreign aid workers slain in Israeli strikes are transported out of Gaza - AP

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The bodies of six foreign aid workers killed in Israeli airstrikes began the journey back to their home countries Wednesday as more questions swirled over Israel’s explanation that a “misidentification” led to the attack on their convoy.

The deadly strikes renewed criticism of Israel’s conduct in the nearly 6-month-old war with Hamas and highlighted the risks that the military’s bombardment poses to aid workers as they try to deliver food to the besieged enclave. The U.N. says nearly a third of the Gaza population is on the brink of starvation.

The three British citizens, a Polish citizen, an Australian and a Canadian American dual citizen worked for World Central Kitchen, an international charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. Their Palestinian driver was also killed, and his remains were handed over to his family for burial in Gaza.

The other bodies were driven into Egypt through the Rafah crossing, according to the Palestinian Crossings Authority, which oversees border crossings.

The seven were distributing food that had been brought into Gaza through a newly established maritime corridor when Israeli airstrikes targeted their three vehicles late Monday, killing everyone inside.


Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Lebanese and Israeli armies say Rmeish incident caused by bomb - Naharnet

 The Lebanese Army’s investigations determined that the blast that hit a U.N. military observers patrol in Rmeish on Saturday was caused by an explosive device planted underground, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Israel's military meanwhile said Wednesday it had obtained information that indicated a Hezbollah explosive charge caused the blast.

"According to information available to the (army), the explosion that occurred on March 30... was caused after a UNIFIL patrol drove over a charge that had been previously placed by Hezbollah in the area," it said.

An ongoing investigation by the Lebanese Army has meanwhile found that the three U.N. military observers and the Lebanese interpreter were wounded by a "landmine," a Lebanese judicial official said Wednesday.

"Preliminary results of a Lebanese Army investigation have found that the observers were wounded by a landmine," the official told AFP, adding that the probe was continuing and the source of the mine had yet to be determined.

“The patrol’s members decided to park the two vehicles and get out of them minutes before the explosion, seeing as an Israeli drone was flying at a low altitude over the patrol, which prompted the Lebanese interpreter to suggest to the Australian officer that they return and don’t advance further. However, the officer ordered the members to dismount the vehicles and continue the patrol on foot,” al-Akhbar quoted an informed source as saying, based on preliminary testimonies given by the patrol’s members.

“The Australian and the Lebanese advanced towards the forest, followed by the Norwegian and the Chilean, as the Swiss officer stayed near the two vehicles. Amid the low-altitude hovering of the drone, a blast went off among the four, severely wounding the Chilean and Norwegian officers in the chest, face and eyes, while the injuries of the Australian officer and Lebanese interpreter were minor,” the source added.


South Lebanon villages bombed by Israeli warplanes - The Cradle

 Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes on the southern Lebanese towns of Al-Habbariyah and Kfar Hamam on 3 March. 

“Hostile warplanes launch two raids on the Al-Habbariyah Heights and the outskirts of Kfar Hamam in the Arqoub area in southern Lebanon,” Al-Manar’s correspondent in southern Lebanon reported.

The Israeli airstrikes came as Hezbollah had announced several attacks on Israeli border sites that day. 

“In support of our steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in support of their valiant and honorable resistance, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance targeted, at 11:00 AM on Wednesday 04/03/2024, a gathering of Israeli enemy soldiers in Khallet Wardah with appropriate weapons, achieving direct hits,” the Lebanese resistance group said on Wednesday afternoon. 

Shortly before noon on 3 April, Hezbollah announced a rocket attack on a “new secret command position behind the Pranit Barracks.” 

A gathering of Israeli army soldiers was hit earlier that morning in an attack announced by Hezbollah at the Al-Rahib site in the Galilee. 

Last week, Israel committed a massacre in the town of Al-Habbariyah after bombing an aid center and killing several medics. The attack came hours after Israeli jets struck Baalbek, in Lebanon’s eastern Beqaa Valley, on 26 March for the third time that day. 

Hezbollah responded to the massacre with dozens of rockets on the northern Israeli settlement of Kiryat Shmona, resulting in the confirmed killing of one Israeli. 

Washington and Paris have been trying to pressure Lebanon into a de-escalation agreement involving Hezbollah’s withdrawal from the border area. The proposed deal draws no significant concessions from Israel and has been described as one-sided and impartial by Lebanese officials.

Last month, the Lebanese state officially responded to the western proposal, calling it “a significant step towards achieving peace and security” and demanding a full implementation of Resolution 1701 – drafted in the days before the end of the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. 


Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Syria Today – Civilian Casualties After Israeli Strikes - The Syrian Observer

Two civilians have been injured in Israeli strikes on the outskirts of Damascus on Sunday, the Syrian defence ministry said, in the second such attack on the country in a few days, Reuters reported.

Israel targeted several locations in the vicinity of Damascus with missiles launched from the occupied Golan Heights, the ministry said in a statement.

“The aggression resulted in the injury of two civilians and some material losses,” it added.

On Friday, Israel carried out its deadliest strikes in months on northern Syria’s Aleppo province as it stepped up its campaign against Iran’s proxies in parallel with its war in Gaza.

Three security sources told Reuters that 33 Syrians and six fighters from the Iran-backed group Hezbollah had been killed in those strikes. It was the single highest death toll in Israeli strikes on Syria since Oct. 7.

US sets new visa restrictions for Syrian officials

The United States Department of State revealed in the weekend in a statement that new visa restrictions will be put on Syrian officials over the oppression of the Syrian people.

“This month marked 13 years since the Assad regime began its violent suppression of peaceful protests in Syria. The regime has committed atrocities, including war crimes and crimes against humanity … Today, [US] Secretary [of State Antony Blinken] is taking steps to impose visa restrictions against 10 government officials and members of their immediate families for these officials’ involvement in serious human rights abuses,” it was written in the statement.

Washington further reaffirmed its support for Syrians, stating that no normalization of relations between the US and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime will take place until there is “authentic progress towards a lasting political solution.”

Israeli airstrike in Syria kills more than 40 people, says war monitor

Israeli airstrikes on Syria’s Aleppo province have killed more than 40 people, including members of Hezbollah and a large number of Syrian soldiers in an area near the militant Lebanese organization’s weapons depots, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

As many as 42 people were killed in what contradictory reports described as air and drone strikes in the early hours of Friday that hit missile depots for Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group in Aleppo’s southern suburb of Jibreen, near Aleppo’s international airport, and a nearby town that houses a military facility.

According to reports, at least 36 Syrian soldiers and six Hezbollah fighters were killed in the strikes, and dozens more people were injured. There was no immediate statement from Israeli officials. Israel frequently launches strikes on Iran-linked targets in Syria but rarely acknowledges them.

“At least 36 soldiers were killed and dozens wounded,” said the group, which has an extensive network of sources in Syria. “It is worth noting that this is the highest death toll ever among regime forces in a single Israeli attack in Syrian territory.”

Hezbollah added that Israeli strikes also targeted air-defence forces sites in al-Saferah, while explosions were heard in the Kafr Joum area, in western Aleppo.


Israel Targets Scientific Research Center in Jamraya in Damascus Countryside - The Syrian Observer

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on the evening of Sunday, targeting the Jamraya area in the countryside of Damascus, marking the third such bombardment within a week.

According to undisclosed sources, Israel launched six rockets at the Scientific Research Center in Jamraya. As of the time of this report, details regarding the extent of human and material losses remain undisclosed.

Following the Israeli airstrikes, ambulances and firefighters were dispatched to the targeted site in Jamraya.

A video circulating on social media captured the moment of the Israeli bombardment of the Scientific Research Center in Jamraya.

The Ministry of Defense stated, “At approximately 21:30 local time on Sunday, the Israeli aggression initiated an air attack from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting various locations near Damascus.” The Ministry added, “The Israeli aggression resulted in injuries to two civilians and inflicted material damages.”

On Thursday,  Israel targeted a building reportedly used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militia for meetings, situated on the outskirts of the town of Sayyeda Zeinab in the Damascus countryside, originating from Damascus International Airport. Sources indicated that the Israeli strike occurred two hours following a meeting attended by leaders of the Revolutionary Guards militia, Hezbollah members, officers from the Syrian regime’s army, and other Iraqi members of the Popular Mobilization Forces.


Monday, April 01, 2024

10 Hezbollah Sites Targeted in Rachaya Al-Foukhar - This is Beirut

 Israeli attacks persisted along the southern border on Monday afternoon.

The Israeli army announced in a statement on Monday that it simultaneously targeted 10 sites belonging to Hezbollah in Rachaya al-Foukhar. These sites include weapon storage facilities, missile launch pads and infrastructure.

On the other hand, Hezbollah claimed three attacks on Ruwaisat al-Alam in the Kfarchouba Hills, the Baghdadi site and the Mtelleh site “with suitable weapons and direct hits.”

Reports indicated that intermittent artillery shelling targeted the al-Randa area located between the towns of Rmeish and Aita al-Shaab. Additionally, the Israeli army bombarded the outskirts of the towns of Rachaya al-Foukhar, Fardis in the Hasbaya district, Habboush, the Hamames hill east of Marjayoun, Dibel and Hanine in the Bint Jbeil district with two air-to-ground missiles.

The National News Agency (NNA) later reported that the strike on Hanine resulted in the injury of the citizen A. Abbas, who was transported to a nearby hospital.

On Monday afternoon, Israeli aircraft flew at a high altitude over the city of Hermel and intensively at a low altitude over Keserwan and Metn.

The Israeli army carried out a raid on the outskirts of the village of Hebbariyeh in the Hasbaya district on Monday morning. The area between Rachaya al-Foukhar, Fardis and the Hamames hill was also targeted with Israeli shells.