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Israel admits killing Hezbollah leader in southern Lebanon attack

February 27, 2024 at 1:13 pm

Lebanese forces deployed to the scene to conduct inspections after Israeli airstrikes hit Hezbollah targets in Baalbek, Lebanon on February 26, 2024 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu via Getty Images]

The Israeli army on Monday claimed responsibility for the assassination of Hezbollah leader Hassan Hussein Salami, whom it said was “responsible for carrying out attacks” against Israel, Anadolu Agency reported.

The army announced in a statement posted on X that an army drone killed Salami, whose rank is equivalent to a brigade commander, in southern Lebanon. The army explained that he belonged to the Al-Nasser unit, which is responsible for a number of attacks against the Israeli army forces as well as against civilian and military targets in northern Israel.

According to the statement, Salami has recently participated in coordinating a number of operations, including launching anti-tank missiles towards the Kiryat Shmona area and the headquarters of the 769th Brigade in northern Israel.

Earlier on Monday, Hezbollah announced in a statement the killing of Salami, born in 1974 in the town of Khirbet Selm in southern Lebanon.

Also on Monday, Hezbollah fired about 60 missiles at Israeli army positions in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, according to Hebrew Channel 14.

Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the bombing came in response to the Israeli army strikes against Hezbollah’s air defence sites in Baalbek, east of the country, in which two members of the organisation were killed.

The Israeli army bombed three Hezbollah targets in the Baalbek area, which is about 100 kilometres from the border with Lebanon and is the farthest target that has been attacked since the beginning of the war, according to the same source.

The Israeli army conveyed in a statement that it had attacked the Hezbollah sites in Baalbek in response to the party’s firing of surface-to-air missiles at an Israeli Zik (Hormuz 450) drone and shooting it down earlier on Monday.

In the wake of Israel’s devastating war on the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah and Palestinian factions in Lebanon have exchanged intermittent bombardments with the Israeli army on a daily basis since 8 October, resulting in deaths and injuries on both sides, in addition to casualties among Lebanese civilians.

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