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Lebanese Hezbollah claims to have launched rocket barrage on Israeli positions

Lebanese Hezbollah, backed by Iran, said it launched “more than 60” rockets on Israeli military positions on Thursday in retaliation for nighttime airstrikes on the east of the country.

Israel and Hamas ally Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily fire following the Palestinian group’s Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, which sparked the Gaza war, now in its eighth month.

Hezbollah fighters “launched a missile attack with more than 60 Katyusha rockets” on several Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights annexed by Israel, the group said in a statement.

The strikes were “a response to attacks by the Israeli enemy last night on the Bekaa region”, in the Baalbek region of eastern Lebanon, the group added.

The Israeli army later indicated that it had identified “around forty launches” from Lebanon “towards the Golan Heights”, causing “no injuries”.

He added that Israeli forces struck the sources of the fire.

The army reported several other attacks from Lebanon against northern Israel, to which it also responded with strikes.

Earlier Thursday, Lebanese state media reported a nighttime Israeli air raid on the Baalbek region, where Hezbollah dominates, hours after the group launched an attack deep into Israeli territory.

“The outskirts of the eastern Lebanese mountain range were subjected to five enemy raids at midnight (9:00 p.m. GMT Wednesday),” the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The Israeli strikes “slightly injured a citizen” and caused fires, ANI added.

A source close to Hezbollah told AFP that one of the strikes “hit a Hezbollah military camp.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told AFP: “I can confirm that an airstrike was carried out in the heart of Lebanon against a terrorist target linked to Hezbollah’s precision missile project.”

The Baalbek region, in the Bekaa Valley, is a Hezbollah stronghold, bordering Syria.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah said it had launched drones at a military base near the Israeli city of Tiberias, in one of its most significant attacks in the country since cross-border clashes began on October 8.

This came after Israel said it had killed one of Hezbollah’s field commanders in southern Lebanon on Tuesday.

The group said Israeli fire killed its member Hussein Makki, identified as a field commander by a source close to Hezbollah.

Cross-border fighting has left at least 413 dead in Lebanon, most of them militants but also dozens of civilians, according to an AFP report.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 10 civilians were killed on its side of the border.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced on both sides of the border.

Israel captured much of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War, then annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.

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