In the first acknowledged airstrikes since 2014, the IDF carried out airstrikes on Lebanon in the early hours of Thursday morning in response to three rockets launched into Israel on Wednesday.
Previous retaliatory attacks have been limited to artillery shelling.
“Overnight (Wednesday), fighter jets attacked the areas from which rockets were fired at Israel on Wednesday as well as terror infrastructure,” the IDF stated. “Additionally, another target from where rockets were fired in the past was struck.”
“IDF attacks will continue and even intensify against terror attempts on Israel and its citizens. Lebanon is responsible for actions committed from its territory. The IDF warns of continued attempts to harm Israel and its sovereignty.”
RAW FOOTAGE: 3 rockets were just fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel. 2 rockets landed in Israel, and 1 fell inside Lebanon.
In response, our artillery forces fired into Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/Sf3754RqRU
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 4, 2021
תיעוד מתקיפות צה״ל בשטח לבנון הלילה: pic.twitter.com/ikHz48yrxU
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) August 5, 2021
Two of the rockets launched on Wednesday landed near Kiryat Shmona, with one landing only meters away from residential areas and the second one landing in an open area, causing a fire that burned hundreds of acres of agricultural land and forests. It took over 12 hours for firefighting crews to subdue the flames.
The IDF is considering carrying out additional strikes but the government is reluctant to do so during peak tourist season when many Israelis travel to northern Israel.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) August 4, 2021
The US condemned the rocket fire on Wednesday. “We absolutely condemn the rocket attacks from armed groups based in Lebanon that were fired into Israel,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said. “Israel has the right to defend itself against such attacks.”
Israel transmitted a message to Lebanon through UN personnel that it will strike again in the wake of any other incidents. Israeli security officials believe that the rockets were launched by Iranian-backed pro-Palestinian groups rather than Hezbollah.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)