It begins — Hezbollah issued the following statement amid Israeli confirmation that its forces came under attack Sunday:
At 4:15 PM, Martyrs Hassan Zbeeb and Yasser Daher Group destroyed an IDF military vehicle near the road of the Avivim military base, killing and wounding vehicle’s occupants.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirm in a statement that several anti-tank missiles were fired from the Lebanese side of the border toward an IDF base and military vehicles. Reports say Israel has returned fire, shelling several sites in southern Lebanon.
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) September 1, 2019
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah had previously promised a calculated and decisive military response to last week’s Israeli drone attacks on Hezbollah offices in south Beirut, and the separate drone assassination of a PFLP commander in Bekaa valley.
“A number of anti-aircraft missiles were fired from Lebanon at an IDF base and military vehicles in the area,” the IDF said. “There are a number of hits.”
Anti-tank missiles fired from Lebanon hit IDF military positions in northern Israel. We returned fire toward the source of the attack in southern Lebanon.
We will continue to update as the situation develops.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 1, 2019
“A short while ago, fires broke out in the Lebanese border area. The fires originate with operations by our forces in the area,” the IDF said in a follow-up statement.
— Junaid Abbasi (@AbbasiJunaid03) September 1, 2019
Civilians on both sides of the border are reportedly taking shelter as more exchange of fire is expected.
Over the past week Hezbollah has reportedly put all of its fighters on “full alert” while Israel has promised swift and severe retaliation for any attack on its forces, further saying it would hold the entire Lebanese state responsible for any “Iran-backed” aggression.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) September 1, 2019
Hezbollah and Lebanese media sources are claiming Sunday’s strike on an Israeli military vehicle, possibly a tank, “killed and wounded those inside” — something which Israeli officials have yet to confirm or deny.