June 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Kills Senior Hezbollah Rocket Force Commander in Airstrike

June 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Kills Senior Hezbollah Rocket Force Commander in Airstrike

Latest Developments

Israeli troops carried out an airstrike that killed Hezbollah commander Muhammad Ayoub, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on June 17. “Ayoub served in the rocket unit of Hezbollah’s Nasr regional division, according to the IDF, which said that he had been behind several recent rocket attacks on Israel in addition to planning other attacks,” The Times of Israel reported. The Nasr regional division covers an area along the border with Israel south of the Litani River. “Over the past few months, Ayoub was involved in promoting terror attacks against Israeli civilians and communities, [and] he promoted and planned terror attacks from southern Lebanon against the State of Israel,” the IDF stated. The IDF also eliminated the head of the Nasr division, Taleb Abdullah, on June 11.

The IDF said that it is working to impede Hezbollah’s military build-up in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has launched more than 5,000 rockets, missiles, and drones at Israel since October 8, when it decided to support the Hamas attack on Israel.

Expert Analysis

“Hezbollah chose to reduce its rocket fire against Israel to coincide with the visit of U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein on June 17. However, the terrorist group continues to pose a major threat to Israel and the region. Its deceptive choice to tone down its attacks only serves as evidence that the Iranian-backed terrorist group chooses when to turn up the heat and when to reduce its attacks.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to infiltrate and disrupt Hezbollah’s security infrastructure, successfully identifying and targeting key commanders, operatives, and facilities. However, despite these successes, Hezbollah’s military operations against Israel appear to be minimally interrupted, underscoring the complexity of the ongoing conflict.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Lull in Hezbollah Attack Ends After Two Days

Hezbollah attacks on Israel slackened for two days, coinciding with the visit of White House special envoy to the Middle East Amos Hochstein to Israel on June 17. “The lull coincided with the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. It may also have been tied to a visit to the region by Amos Hochstein, who has been the Biden administration’s point man on Israel-Hezbollah tensions,” The Times of Israel noted. Sirens sounded in seven communities in northern Israel on June 18 just after noon, warning of a drone threat.

U.S. Envoy Arrives in Israel Amid Growing Focus on Hezbollah Escalation,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Rebuffs French Role in Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Rockets Pound Israel Following Killing of Senior Terror Commander,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Lebanon