IDF strikes deep in Lebanese territory after Hezbollah shoots down unmanned IDF aircraft

Israel struck military targets in Hezbollah’s stronghold in the Beqaa Valley and other sites in southern Lebanon, while Hezbollah launches another wave of rockets at the north.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel’s air force struck deep into Lebanon early Sunday morning after Hezbollah announced that it had downed an IDF drone several hours earlier.

The jets hit a military compound and three other military infrastructure targets in Hezbollah’s air defense system in the Beqaa Valley in the northeastern Baalbek region.

This is the second time in two months that the IAF has gone far into Lebanon to hit the terrorists’ stronghold after they shot down an Israeli UAV.

In addition to the long strike, the IAF struck military infrastructure and a Hezbollah building closer to the Israeli border, in Ayta A-Shaab and Al-Adisa.

The ground forces joined as well, with artillery shelling other Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon several times.

Speaking Saturday night, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that after the Hezbollah ground-to-air interceptor hit the drone, it fell into Lebanese territory, and the incident is being investigated.

“We are at a high state of readiness in the north,” he added. “In the past 24 hours, seven terrorists were eliminated,” including three “who were planning to carry out a terrorist attack in Israeli territory.”

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The IDF has killed some 330 Hezbollah terrorists so far in what has essentially been a side-show to the war Israel has been fighting for the last half year against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah said that it will only stop its rain of rockets and other attack attempts to support its fellow terror organization in Israel’s south when there is a ceasefire.

There have been ups and downs in the number of missiles fired from Lebanon during the war but they have recently increased.

Since Friday, Hezbollah has launched dozens of rockets at Israel’s north, including nine at the Har Dov region, which contains several military sites. There were also three reports of possible air infiltration by enemy UAVs, according to the Home Front Command, which all ended quietly.

On Sunday morning, the Iranian proxy announced that it had so far fired ten times on Israeli territory, and the IAF reacted by hitting Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

As it is Iran’s chief lackey in the region, the IDF has been on a much higher level of alert ever since last Monday’s assassination of seven top commanders in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Damascus. One of them, Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, was the leader of the IRGC’s Quds Force, which is responsible for all non-state proxies’ anti-Western attacks outside of Iran.

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He was hailed after his death by an Iranian group close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for “planning and executing the Al-Aqsa Storm,” the Hamas name for its October 7 invasion of Israel in which 1,200 were massacred and 253 people taken hostage.

This is the closest Iran has come to taking responsibility for the Hamas attack.

Tehran has vowed to take revenge on Israel for the multiple assassinations, even though the Jewish state has not taken credit for the strike, leading the IDF to take such steps as canceling all leaves in the army for the time being.