Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operating near the Lebanon-Israel border Tuesday night reportedly came under small arms fire by Hezbollah, prompting a retaliation by Israel’s military.
“IDF troops were fired upon from Lebanon’s territory as they were conducting routine operations in area. No IDF wounded or casualties. IDF responded with dozens of illumination and smoke rounds. In response to gunfire, Israeli helicopters and aircraft targeted Hezbollah positions. The IDF attacked Hezbollah observation posts on the Lebanon-Israel border,” the IDF tweeted.
Tuesday night’s attack came amid a series of retaliatory attempts for the killing of Hezbollah fighter Ali Mohsen in a July IDF airstrike at Damascus International Airport.
In a post-action report, the IDF published an image which illustrated the area where the attack originated. Most notably, it highlighted the attack occurred between two United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) posts.
According to a UNIFIL report, its forces observed flares launched over Meis al-Jabal, Hula and Kafr Killa. UNIFIL’s radars also detected IDF mortars and artillery shells, most of them smoke, including heavy drone activity.
Additionally, local reports claimed the IDF fired phosphorous rounds and an artillery shell in and around the village of Hula.
In response to the event, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged the incident but deferred discussing the matter until a later time.
“What happened in southern Lebanon yesterday is an important and sensitive matter for us, but I will not comment on it now and I will leave that for a later time,” Nasrallah stated.
It should be noted that if the attack originated between two UNFIL posts, it brings into question UNIFIL’s ability to comply with its mandate which includes ensuring its area of operations along the blue-line is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.
All of Hezbollah’s attempts to exact revenge have been thwarted and despite the turmoil caused by the Beirut blast, Hezbollah is likely to renew efforts to fulfill its self-proclaimed “equation of deterrence” against Israel.