IDF drills for potential Lebanon ground offensive

Hezbollah bombards north with rockets after deadly IDF strike in Lebanon

No injuries as terror group launches dozens of rockets at Meron, Mount Dov and Mount Hermon; 5 reported killed in Israeli strike in Khirbet Selm, including 3 Hezbollah operatives

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Rockets launched from Lebanon strike the Mount Meron area, March 10, 2024. (Screenshot/X; Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Rockets launched from Lebanon strike the Mount Meron area, March 10, 2024. (Screenshot/X; Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Hezbollah fired several volleys of rockets at northern Israel on Sunday, after an Israeli airstrike the previous night in Lebanon killed five people, including three members of the terror group.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, some 37 rockets were fired from Lebanon at the Mount Meron area on Sunday morning. There were no reports of injuries or damage in the attack.

In the first barrage of 30 rockets, one projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, and in the second barrage minutes later, seven rockets were fired, with six of them being successfully downed, the IDF said.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it fired dozens of Katyusha rockets at the town of Meron. It did not claim to have targeted the IDF’s nearby Mount Meron air traffic control base, which Hezbollah has fired missiles at previously.

Footage posted to social media showed several rockets striking the mountainside.

The terror group said the barrages were a response to the deaths of civilians in an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon’s Khirbet Selm on Saturday night.

Five members of one family were reported killed in the strike. Hezbollah announced that three of them, Jaafar Marji, Ali Marji, and Hassan Marji, were members of the terror group.

The IDF on Sunday morning confirmed it had struck a building in Khirbet Selm, where it said several Hezbollah operatives were spotted a night earlier. It also said it struck Hezbollah infrastructure in Ayta ash-Shab and an anti-tank missile post in Maroun al-Ras.

Later Sunday, Hezbollah fired additional barrages of dozens of rockets at the Mount Hermon and Mount Dov regions on the border, causing no injuries.

Also Sunday, the IDF said an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon at the Malkia area struck a military vehicle, causing damage but no injuries.

In another incident, a Hezbollah drone crashed in an open area in the Mount Hermon region, causing no damage or injuries according to the IDF.

Meanwhile, the IDF said it struck and killed a Hezbollah anti-tank missile squad in southern Lebanon’s Chebaa on Sunday.

The cell was spotted by soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras, who called in an airstrike before it managed to carry out an attack, the IDF said.

IDF drills for Lebanon ground offensive

On Sunday, the IDF announced that over the past week, the military had carried out a logistics supply drill as part of its preparations for a potential ground offensive in Lebanon.

In the exercise, forces practiced delivering equipment, water, fuel, and ammunition to simulated “maneuvering forces” in Lebanon amid potential fighting, the IDF said.

The IDF said the drill included “loading and unloading equipment from Air Force aircraft and transporting equipment using vehicles on the ground” to the front lines.

So far, during the war in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Air Force has carried out airdrops of some 110 tons of equipment to troops, according to the IDF. Thousands more logistical supply operations were carried out using convoys of trucks.

An IAF transport plane drops equipment during a logistics drill, in a handout image published March 10, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

“The IDF is prepared to carry out identical operations in the northern sector as well, with high intensity and under fire if required,” the military said.

The drill came amid repeated attacks by Hezbollah and allied Palestinian terror groups in Lebanon on northern Israel, with fears of a wider conflict.

Israel has warned it can no longer tolerate Hezbollah’s presence along its border following Hamas’s October 7 atrocities in southern Israel, and has warned that should a diplomatic solution not be reached, it will turn to military action to push Hezbollah northward.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in seven civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 10 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 241 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 37 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 30 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

Most Popular
read more: