Hezbollah attacks Israeli troops with drones, artillery, missiles

A photo taken on November 20, 2023, shows smoke coming out of an Israeli military base (C) near the border with Lebanon which was hit early today by a missile from Hezbollah. Lebanon's Hezbollah movement said it targeted troops in northern Israel with drones, artillery and missiles November 20, claiming a string of new attacks. (AFP)
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Updated 20 November 2023

Hezbollah attacks Israeli troops with drones, artillery, missiles

  • Russia describes escalation of hostilities in southern Lebanon as ‘very dangerous’

BEIRUT: Hostilities carried out by Hezbollah against Israeli military outposts significantly escalated on Monday, with the group resorting to more developed destructive weapons.

Amid the qualitative military escalation on the southern front, Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov told Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib that “what was happening in the south is very dangerous and must be stopped.”

The Russian diplomat said, "Both parties mainly discussed the unfolding events in the region, especially in Gaza."

The ambassador said Russia had been calling for peace and halting military operations in all international forums.

“We are in constant contact, following up on an array of topics and interests, whether bilateral or international,” he added.

The envoy’s reaction came as the Saydet El-Jabal group warned that the region is “heading toward a complicated and dangerous situation that requires the highest degrees of political vigilance and internal solidarity.”

The group, which includes politicians and public activists, also believes that Hezbollah is, once again, jeopardizing unity among the Lebanese people.

The comment follows a statement delivered by Sheikh Naim Kassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary-general, who said two days ago that it “will continue to be armed and trained despite all the Lebanese opposition voices.”

Saydet El-Jabal added: “How can Hezbollah say that it is protecting Lebanon’s national interest while it is placing itself above the constitution and the relevant international and Arab resolutions?”

The Israel-Lebanon border has seen daily exchanges of fire since the Israel-Hamas war began.

On Monday, Hezbollah announced hitting — for the first time — the Branit outpost with four Burkan missiles.

A video published by Israeli media showed the massive destruction caused by the missiles.

In two consecutive statements, Hezbollah confirmed that the purpose behind the shelling was “to support our resilient Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and endorse its resistance.”

Israeli media reported that “25 missiles and artillery shells, in addition to a kamikaze drone, were launched from Lebanon toward the Kiryat Shmona and Margaliot settlements, causing damage to the place.”

The Burkan missile is designed by Iran and produced in the workshops of the Syrian army’s fourth division.

It is a short-range ballistic missile carrying an explosive payload of 500 kg — half a ton of explosives — with a range of up to 10 km. It is launched from short-range tactical launchers.

Each battery carries three firing nozzles mounted on the body of a tank for any armored vehicle or truck.

Hezbollah used this missile for the first time at the beginning of November when it targeted the Israeli Jal Al-Alam outpost opposite the Lebanese border village of Al-Dahira.

Hezbollah’s confrontations with the Israeli military on the Lebanese southern front have been ongoing for 44 days.

Hezbollah announced targeting “an Israeli infantry force on Al-Karantina Hill near the Hadeb Yaroun outpost, an Israeli infantry gathering in the vicinity of the Dahira outpost, and an Israeli infantry gathering in the Al-Tayhat Triangle, causing direct hits.”

The group has also announced targeting “the Zibdeen outpost in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms with appropriate weapons, in addition to targeting a gathering for the Israeli occupation forces in the west of Kiryat Shmona with three drones.”

The Israeli army responded to Hezbollah’s operations through ground and aerial bombardment, targeting many locations in Lebanon.

The army said that “rocket-propelled grenades were launched from Lebanon toward Kiryat Shmona,” adding that “three drones were intercepted in the Upper Galilee.”

Artillery shelling has targeted the outskirts of the villages of Yarine, Al-Dahira, Tayr Harfa, Rab Al-Thalathin, Mhaibib, and Al-Jabin.

Israeli artillery has also targeted the outskirts of the villages of Houla, Wadi Saluki, Yaroun, and Naqoura, in addition to a forest between Deir Mimas and Kfarkila.

The fire caused by Israeli artillery has trapped a farmer in the valley located between Markaba and Houla.

The region between the Rmaych and Ayta Al-Shaab villages was subject to direct artillery bombardment. The shelling also reached the house of MP Kabalan Kabalan in Mays Al-Jabal.

Israeli helicopters also bombed the outskirts of the Maroun Al-Ras village.

According to Israeli media outlets, Hezbollah has launched “over 1,000 missiles from Lebanon toward Israeli targets since the beginning of the operations.”

The Al-Manar website affiliated with Hezbollah published “a table showing that the number of Israeli army casualties scattered across hospitals of settlements bordering Lebanon amounted to 1,523.”

Israeli bombing hit on Sunday afternoon a civilian car driving from the border village of Odaisseh to Kfarkila.

Lebanese citizen Sanaa Hussein Rislan was with her son when the artillery shell landed near them.

She was injured and transferred to a hospital for treatment.

Almost all the border region residents have evacuated the area and fled north of the Blue Line.

The Disaster Risk Management Unit in the Union of Tyre Municipalities announced that, as of Sunday, the number of displaced Lebanese reached 16,276, scattered across the villages of the district and four shelters.

The unit added that it was working in cooperation with associations and international organizations to secure the needs of displaced people within the available means.

As winter approaches, the number of displaced people is increasing daily, which adds a burden to securing heating in shelters.

CNN producer Ibrahim Dahman loses nine relatives in Israeli strike on Gaza

Updated 22 min 15 sec ago

CNN producer Ibrahim Dahman loses nine relatives in Israeli strike on Gaza

  • Israel resumed combat operations after a seven-day temporary truce with Hamas
  • Dahman’s childhood home in Gaza City has been destroyed in the Israeli offensive

DUBAI: CNN producer Ibrahim Dahman lost nine relatives in an Israeli air strike in northern Gaza, CNN reported.

Dahman had escaped to Egypt with his family, but on Sunday heard news that at least nine family members were killed when the building they were living in Beit Lahia took a direct hit by an Israeli strike.

His uncle, and the uncle’s wife, daughter and two grandchildren, as well as his aunt, her husband and two children perished, while at least two other relatives are in critical condition and others are still buried under the rubble.

Dahman’s childhood home in Gaza City was also destroyed in a separate strike on an adjacent building the same day, CNN reported.

“I will never be able to forget every stone and corner of the house in which I was born and raised and in which my children were born,” Dahman said in the CNN report.

“They were extremely peaceful and simple people, and their entire lives were devoted solely to work and raising their sons and daughters. They have no affiliation with any organization or group… Pray to God to have mercy on them all.”

Dahman’s brother had earlier called to tell him that his home in Gaza City, where he was born and grew up, has been reduced to ruins by the Israeli bombardment.

He had just finished renovating the apartment months before the Hamas attack, and told CNN he had fond memories living there, including celebrating his sons’ birthdays with cake and candles surrounded by family.

“Unfortunately, I left all my memories, my belongings, and the gifts that my bosses sent me at work in this house, all of which were lost under the rubble now.”

Israel’s military resumed combat operations against Hamas in Gaza last week after accusing Hamas of violating a seven-day temporary truce by firing toward Israeli territory.

The seven-day pause, which began on Nov. 24 and was extended twice, had allowed for the exchange of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into the shattered coastal strip.

Israel has sworn to annihilate the Palestinian militant group, which rules Gaza, in response to the Oct. 7 rampage when Hamas gunmen killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages.

Putin lands in Abu Dhabi on Middle East visit: Russian state media

Updated 8 sec ago

Putin lands in Abu Dhabi on Middle East visit: Russian state media

ABU DHABI: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday landed in the United Arab Emirates for a rare visit outside the former Soviet Union, Russian state media reported, as Moscow seeks to reassert itself on the global stage.
“Putin’s plane has landed in Abu Dhabi,” the state-run RIA Novosti reported on social media, while Russian state television showed Putin being greeted by officials on the runway.

Iran says it sent a capsule with animals into orbit as it prepares for human missions

Updated 06 December 2023

Iran says it sent a capsule with animals into orbit as it prepares for human missions

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran said Wednesday it sent a capsule into orbit carrying animals as it prepares for human missions in coming years.
A report by the official IRNA news agency quoted Telecommunications Minister Isa Zarepour as saying the capsule was launched 130 kilometers (80 miles) into orbit.
Zarepour said the launch of the 500-kilogram (1,000-pound) capsule is aimed at sending Iranian astronauts to space in coming years. He did not say what kind of animals were in the capsule.
State TV showed footage of a rocket named Salman carrying the capsule into space.
Iran occasionally announces successful launches of satellites and other space crafts. In September, Iran said it sent a data-collecting satellite into space. In 2013, Iran said it sent a monkey into space and returned it successfully.
It says its satellite program is for scientific research and other civilian applications. The US and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles.

Iran Revolutionary Guards seize two vessels smuggling 4.5 million liters of fuel — Tasnim

Updated 06 December 2023

Iran Revolutionary Guards seize two vessels smuggling 4.5 million liters of fuel — Tasnim

DUBAI: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Navy have seized two vessels smuggling 4.5 million liters of fuel, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.
Tasnim said 34 foreign crew have been detained by the Guards in the operation.
Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the plunge in the value of its national currency, has been fighting rampant fuel smuggling by land to neighboring countries and by sea to Gulf Arab states.

Israel reviewing strike that harmed Lebanese troops, army says

Updated 06 December 2023

Israel reviewing strike that harmed Lebanese troops, army says

  • Lebanese army say the soldier, a sergeant, was killed when an army position was shelled by Israel on Tuesday

JERUSALEM: The Israeli army said on Wednesday it was reviewing a strike that harmed Lebanese troops in south Lebanon, an apparent reference to Israeli shelling that killed a Lebanese soldier and wounded three others the previous day.
“The Lebanese Armed Forces were not the target of the strike. The IDF expresses regret over the incident. The incident is under review,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
Israel and the heavily armed Lebanese group Hezbollah have been exchanging fire across the Lebanese-Israeli border since the start of the war between the Palestinian group Hamas and Israel on Oct. 7.
The Lebanese army said the soldier, a sergeant, was killed when an army position was shelled by Israel on Tuesday.
The Israeli army said its soldiers had acted in “self defense to eliminate an imminent threat that had been identified from Lebanon” from a “known launch area and observation point” used by Hezbollah.
The UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon UNIFIL noted in a statement on Tuesday it was the first Lebanese army soldier killed during the hostilities, and that the Lebanese army had not engaged in conflict with Israel.