"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

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.