Israeli air force kills Hezbollah air defense commander in Baalbek

Israeli air force kills Hezbollah air defense commander in Baalbek
Israeli air force kills Hezbollah air defense commander in Baalbek

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that it had killed a key air defense operative of the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, Maitham Mustafa Al Ataar, in Baalbek, in northeastern Lebanon, some 80 kilometers from the border with Israel.

“Recently, the Air Force operated in the Baalbek area to attack and eliminate terrorist Meitham Mustafa Altaar, a key operative in Hezbollah’s Air Defense Unit,” a military statement said.

Al-Ataar, whose death was also confirmed by Hezbollah, led many of the unit’s activities and was involved in planning and carrying out numerous attacks against the State of Israel, the military spokesman said.

“He also flew to Iran several times, where he gained knowledge and helped strengthen the Iranian terrorist organization Hezbollah’s strength and weapons arsenal,” he added.

The IDF noted that the elimination of Al Ataar “significantly harms the capabilities of Hezbollah’s Air Defense Unit.”

On Thursday, Hezbollah launched its biggest attack on Israel since October, firing more than 200 rockets and 20 explosive drones along the entire border, in retaliation for the death of a senior commander of the group, Mohamed Nasser, the day before in an Israeli attack in the Tyre area, southern Lebanon.

The border between Israel and Lebanon is at its highest point of tension since 2006, with an intense exchange of fire since October, which has claimed the lives of at least 515 people, most of them on the Lebanese side and in the ranks of Hezbollah, which has confirmed some 328 casualties of its troops, including commanders, some in Syria.

In Israel, 26 people have been killed, 16 soldiers and 10 civilians.

Hezbollah launched this round of fighting against Israel on the border on October 8, the day after the war broke out in the Gaza Strip, in solidarity with Palestinian Islamic terrorist organisations in the enclave; although the exchange of fire has intensified, raising fears of open war.

Hezbollah sources claim that if a ceasefire is achieved in Gaza – Israel and Hamas will negotiate a new proposal in Doha next week – this will immediately imply calm on Israel’s northern border, while the international community, especially the US and France, seeks a diplomatic solution to this brewing conflict. Aurora and EFE

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