Hezbollah Targets Israeli Military Convoy with Missile

Hezbollah on Monday claimed responsibility for a missile attack on an Israeli military convoy that wounded several soldiers. Four Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers were wounded in Israel’s northern territory near the border with Lebanon around midday when a Hezbollah anti-tank missile struck an IDF convoy.

The Hezbollah attack happened just one day after the Israeli air force responded to a rocket attack from Syria. It is believed that Hezbollah was also behind that attack, which was near near Israel’s border with Syria.

At least four IDF soldiers were wounded in Wednesday’s initial attack, which was followed by mortars hitting a highly strategic outpost near Mount Hermon in the northern corner of the country just at the border with Syria. The outpost is so close to Syria that it affords a decent view of the country on a clear day.

The IDF has told reporters that they believe the attack on the convoy was part of a failed hijacking attempt.

Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon and has strong affiliations in Syria and elsewhere in the region, claimed they were responsible for the attack on the military convoy in an official statement. They described the soldiers in the statement as casualties of “enemy ranks.” Their attack elicited a harsh response from Israeli forces, which fired about 50 artillery shells into Lebanon.

The actions along the Israel-Lebanon border are considered a serious escalation of tensions in the already typically tense region.

Hezbollah also intimated that the attacks were revenge for an airstrike by Israel earlier in January that left six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general dead by the name of the faction that carried out the attack – the “heroic martyrs of Quneitra.”

Israel hasn’t commented in any way on the airstrike, but increased surveillance and defenses along the border immediately afterward. On Wednesday, the IDF Twitter feed was ablaze with scathing comments aimed at Hezbollah for the recent attacks, including some tactical details about the military response.

“Following Hezbollah attacks earlier today, the IDF responded with combined aerial and ground strikes at Hezbollah operational positions,” said one message from the IDF.

Another message coincided with Hezbollah’s claims of responsibility for the actions:

“We hold Hezbollah responsible for the attacks in northern Israel today,” said the IDF.

On the Lebanese side of the border, anonymous officials told the AP that three border villages were struck by Israeli shelling, but there weren’t any reports of casualties. One official described the attack on Israel as a “sophisticated Hezbollah operation.”

[Image via screen capture from Israel Channel 2]