Israel hits Lebanon valley in most intense strikes: Official, source

AFP , Tuesday 16 Jan 2024

Israel launched its most intense attacks on a single location in Lebanon's south Tuesday, targeting a border valley with air strikes and artillery, a local official and a security source told AFP.

Israeli army strikes
Israeli army strikes in Wadi Saluki, southern Lebanon. Photo circulating on X (formerly Twitter)


Israel's army said it had conducted "aerial and artillery strikes" on Hezbollah targets "within a short amount of time" Tuesday in the Wadi Saluki area.

"Israeli forces have launched more than 14 air strikes on the Wadi Saluki," a security source with knowledge of operations on the ground in south Lebanon told AFP.

They said the strikes were "the most intense" on one single area since Hezbollah and Israel began exchanging near-daily cross-border fire in the wake of the Israeli war on Gaza that began on 7 October.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency also reported Israeli air strikes Tuesday on other south Lebanon villages along the border.

The air strikes on the Wadi Saluki were accompanied by heavy artillery shelling, said Shakib Koteish, mayor of the nearby Hula village, adding that they did not cause any casualties so far.

In its statement, Israel's army claimed it hit "dozens of Hezbollah posts, military structures, and weapons infrastructure".

Hezbollah also claimed several attacks on Israeli positions and troops on Tuesday.

During more than two decades of Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon that ended in 2000, the Wadi Saluki and neighboring areas were known as Hezbollah's main areas of operations against Israel.

Over 190 people have been killed in Lebanon during more than three months of violence, including over 140 Hezbollah fighters and over 20 civilians, among them three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

In northern Israel, nine soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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