February 12, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Airstrikes Target Hezbollah Forces in Southern Lebanon

February 12, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Airstrikes Target Hezbollah Forces in Southern Lebanon

Latest Developments

Israel conducted a series of airstrikes in southern Lebanon on February 12 against individuals and facilities affiliated with the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that its aircraft struck a vehicle near the village of Maroun El Ras, which is located next to the Lebanon-Israel border. IDF airstrikes also destroyed terrorist infrastructure in the areas of al-Adisa and Khiam. The IDF further struck two military structures and a military site in the areas of Tayr Harfa and Maroun El Ras.

Lebanese media reported that in the nearby town of Bint Jbeil, an Israeli drone targeted a vehicle carrying Mohammed Alawiya, a senior Hezbollah member responsible for the Maroun El Ras region. According to Lebanese media, Alawiya was injured but survived the strike. It was not clear if the drone strike on Alawiya was the same or separate from the vehicle strike reported by the IDF.

Expert Analysis

“Israel appears to have entered a new phase in its operations against Hezbollah. For a week now, the Israelis have been attempting to assassinate senior Hezbollah and Hamas leaders. Israel is dialing up its attack despite knowing that Hezbollah will also intensify its retaliation, signaling an increased Israeli desire to confront the group and perhaps also a growing disillusionment with peaceful means — like negotiations — resolving the threat Hezbollah poses in the north.” David Daoud, FDD Senior Fellow

“Israel’s retaliatory strikes against Hezbollah are an important part of deterring Hezbollah from further attacks on Israel. The Iranian-backed terrorist group has launched thousands of attacks on Israel since October 8, when it chose to join Hamas in attacking Israel. It is essential that Hezbollah be stopped from further threats and that its forces be removed from the border area so that security and peace can return to northern Israel.” Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

Israel Targets Hezbollah Leaders

On February 8, an IDF drone struck a vehicle in Nabatieh, a city just north of the Litani River, wounding Hezbollah area commander Abbas al-Debes. Another Hezbollah member who was in the car, Ali Karaki — reportedly a high-ranking Hezbollah military commander — escaped the car before the drone strike. Hezbollah responded later that night by firing more than 30 Katyusha rockets at IDF positions in northern Israel in the areas of Kiryat Shmona, Biranit, and Mt. Hermon. The attack wounded three soldiers, including one seriously. The same day, Israeli Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar said that Israeli planes are flying freely over Lebanon for the first time since 2018, carrying out strikes against Hezbollah’s guided-missile crews and terrorist facilities. On February 9, Hezbollah fired another barrage of 30 Katyusha rockets, which Israel responded to with further airstrikes in Naqoura.

Hezbollah Attacks Prevent Israelis From Returning Home

Between October 8 and January 9, Hezbollah launched more than 2,000 rockets into Israel, according to the IDF. Early in the conflict, Israel evacuated more than 80,000 Israelis from northern Israel because of Hezbollah attacks. Israeli officials have said that civilians will not go back to the northern communities while Hezbollah terrorists remain on Israel’s border. Jerusalem also urged the international community to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls on Hezbollah to move its forces north of the Litani River, six miles from Israel’s border.

Israel Wounds Hezbollah Commander in Drone Strike,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel attempts to assassinate two high-ranking Hezbollah commanders in south Lebanon,” by David Daoud

Israeli Air Force Plans Continued Lebanon Overflights,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Rockets Wound Three Israeli Soldiers,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Lebanon