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The Region – ISRAEL & Hezbollah

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ISRAEL & Hezbollah

Israel Begins Extensive Operations in Lebanon & Syria

During last week, Israel conducted 43 operations against Hezbollah and related targets in Lebanon and Syria. The operations ranged from airstrikes on buildings and infrastructure to intercepting missiles aimed at Israeli UAVs. The extensive number of operations conducted by Israel indicates a high operational tempo aimed at degrading Hezbollah’s military capabilities, disrupting its infrastructure, and targeting its personnel. Israel’s focus on targeting buildings, warehouses, and military structures affiliated with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria demonstrates a precise approach to weakening the military and logistical support structures of Hezbollah. This also indicates Israel’s intelligence capabilities in identifying and striking such targets.

Hezbollah’s actions included at least 4 operations against Israeli targets, involving a drone incident near Tiberias, a strike on the “Ma’ale Golan” facility, launching two suicide drones towards Kiryat Shmona, and firing rockets and a drone at Galilee. Hezbollah’s operations, including the drone incident and the firing of rockets and drones into Israeli territory, reflect a combination of defensive posturing and retaliatory actions. Israel’s interception of a missile from Lebanon using the David’s Sling System illustrates the deployment of advanced missile defense capabilities to protect its territory and assets from aerial threats.

Chronology:

On February 19, the IDF launches attacks in southern Lebanon, including a drone strike on a vehicle in the village of Eazia, Sidon Governorate, located 50 km from the Israel border, injuring 8. The IDF Spokesman announces they are targeting weapon warehouses in Sidon in response to a Hezbollah drone falling in Israeli territory near Tiberias, resulting in 14 injuries, predominantly among Syrian and Palestinian workers.

A Lebanese Almanar channel reporter details the IDF’s operations for the day, up to 6:00 p.m., including strikes in Albastan, Kfar Yaroun, two in Meiss El Jabal, two in Al Adisa, and multiple bombings in the industrial area of Eazia, Sidon. In the last hour, the IDF is actively attacking in Meiss El Jabal, Belida, and Khula.

On February 20, IDF fighter jets target several Hezbollah terror sites in Lebanon. They strike the village of Belida in southern Lebanon three times, destroying several houses. IDF soldiers also hit two launch posts in Yaroun and Marwahin, as well as more terrorist infrastructure in Dhayra and Yaroun. Additionally, they target two military structures in Houla and Blida.

On February 21, the IDF targets a location in the village of Jabeh, in the Tafah district, deep within Lebanese territory. Concurrently, the Israeli assault occurs in the Kfarsusa area of Damascus, where 3 missiles strike a building in Sousa village, utilized by Iran-affiliated elements.

Shortly after, the IDF attacks in Khiam, southern Lebanon. Another Israeli attack targets multiple sites in the Dimas area, northwest of Damascus, marking the second assault there today.

Associated with the Assad regime, sources report the activation of Syrian air defense systems in an attempt to intercept the attack, suggesting the intelligence for the operation might have been inaccurate.

Al Manar reports an attack in Majdal Zoun (Almanzouri), resulting in the deaths of a woman and a girl. Additional attacks include one in Khiam, one in Marwahin, and two in Ayta Ash Shab.

Up to this point, Hezbollah claims responsibility for 12 attacks against Israeli targets, with 3 of these attacks described as “responses” to the IDF’s actions against civilians, civilian homes, and villages in southern Lebanon.

On February 22, the Air Force strikes in the area of Kfar Raman, northern Nebatieh, approximately 30 km from the Israel border. A building in Raman village, Nabatieh district, is hit by an Israeli drone, resulting in casualties.

The attack leaves two dead and three wounded in Raman village. Two Hezbollah members are killed in an earlier attack in Kfar Rumman: Hassan Saleh, a senior commander known as Haj Gafar, and Sham Abdullah, a military operative, bringing Hezbollah’s total casualties to 208.

Hezbollah reports casualties from an IDF attack the previous night in Belida, southern Lebanon, targeting a “medical center.” In retaliation, Hezbollah strikes the Israeli “Ma’ale Golan” facility, claiming it was in response to an attack on a “Civil Defense Center” in Belida. This attack results in three deaths: Muhammad Ismail, Hossein Khalil, and Muhammad Traf, a military activist, increasing Hezbollah’s casualties to 211.

In response to the Belida incident, Hezbollah launches two suicide drones at 09:30 towards the headquarters of the Regional Council in Kiryat Shmona.

On February 23, Israeli warplanes target the home of the Shami family in Kafrkela, adjacent to the building of the Islamic Medical Authority (affiliated with Hezbollah – AA). The attack completely destroys the property, reportedly without causing any casualties.

On February 24, Hezbollah releases footage of a missile it claims struck the window of the 769th Brigade headquarters in Kiryat Shmona on February 22nd, showing a dummy on the attacked building’s roof.

Earlier today, an Israeli warplane attacks a building in the village of Belida after a terrorist squad was observed entering a military building, which was then targeted by a fighter jet.

The IDF launches an attack in Baraachit, southern Lebanon, 9 km from the Israel border.

In retaliation for attacks on villages, civilian homes, and particularly the strike in Baraachit, Hezbollah fires a Katyusha rocket at 21:00 at the 769th Brigade headquarters.

The IDF Spokesperson reports that an IDF aircraft spotted a terrorist cell entering a Hezbollah weapons storage facility in Matmoura. Shortly after, IDF fighter jets target the facility, causing secondary explosions from the large weapon quantities stored there.

IDF fighter jets also strike a Hezbollah operational command center in Baraachit, along with launch posts and terrorist infrastructure in Jabal Blat, southern Lebanon. Additionally, IDF artillery responds to a threat in Rachaya Al Foukhar, leading to significant destruction from the previous night’s IDF attack in Baraachit.

On February 25, an Israeli drone targets a Hezbollah truck near the Al-Kazir area in Homs, Syria, close to the Lebanon border, resulting in the deaths of Ahmed Elafi and Hossein Dirani. This brings Hezbollah’s casualties since the war’s outset to 214.

Shortly thereafter, Ali Nasser is killed in an IDF attack in Belida, southern Lebanon, marking casualty number 215.

Kiryat Shmona becomes a focal point for Hezbollah’s retaliations as Israel conducts a second raid on Blida, southern Lebanon. The Israeli army announces it targeted firing sites and infrastructure of Hezbollah in the Jabal Balat area. Since February 14, Israeli airstrikes across several towns have resulted in at least ten civilian deaths and injuries to five Hezbollah members, including a military official. The conflict has claimed 276 lives in Lebanon, including 191 Hezbollah members and 44 civilians, while Israel has reported ten soldier and six civilian deaths.

On Sunday, three Israeli raids hit Blida, with Israel pledging to intensify strikes on Hezbollah, even amid potential truces in Gaza.

Hezbollah responds by firing rockets and a drone at Galilee, as Israeli jets continue to pound southern Lebanon. Al Jazeera reports a plan to evacuate 60,000 Israelis, with Gallant threatening increased bombings until Hezbollah “surrenders.”

Nasrallah advises his militia and their families in the south to stop using their phones to protect lives and dignity. He also sends his daughter to meet Khamenei in Tehran, signaling ongoing strategic movements within Hezbollah amidst escalating tensions.

Amos Hochstein, the American mediator, has paused his efforts to resolve Israel-Hezbollah tensions amid awaiting Lebanon’s stance on a French de-escalation plan. This plan demands a ceasefire and Hezbollah’s military withdrawal from specific areas, highlighting the complexities and geopolitical intricacies of Hochstein’s role in the region’s delicate power dynamics.

Today, Monday February 26, Israel launches airstrikes in Baalbek, Lebanon, targeting a Hezbollah-affiliated building and a warehouse on Baalbek’s outskirts. These strikes result in three Hezbollah fatalities and four injuries, including a Lebanese army member and his son. Additionally, Israel targets a site in Al-Tuffah Province, South Lebanon, and a vehicle in the Tire district, killing one person. 

The IDF intercepts a surface-to-air missile from Lebanon using the David’s Sling System. The missile aimed at a “Zik” type UAV, which was not damaged and continued its mission. Following the missile’s interception, sirens sound in Alon Tavor, northern Israel, with no injuries reported. Later, an additional missile launch targets the UAV, causing it to fall inside Lebanese territory.

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