IDF Syria strike said to kill terror commander’s son; 3 troops hurt on Lebanon border

Hassan Ali Dakdouk’s father thought to be in charge of Hezbollah operations in southern Syria; Hezbollah attacks, IDF strikes continue

Mourners march with the bodies of three members of Hezbollah killed in southwestern Syria along the Golan Heights, during the funeral in Beirut's southern suburb on December 9, 2023. (Ibrahim AMRO / AFP)
Mourners march with the bodies of three members of Hezbollah killed in southwestern Syria along the Golan Heights, during the funeral in Beirut's southern suburb on December 9, 2023. (Ibrahim AMRO / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces conducted multiple strikes against terror targets in Lebanon Friday and Saturday, as Hezbollah-led attacks on Israel’s northern frontier continued.

Hezbollah said one of three members killed Friday in an alleged Israeli drone strike in Syria was Hassan Ali Dakdouk — the son of Ali Mussa Dakdouk, thought to be in charge of the terror group’s operations in southern Syria.

Kan news reported that the elder Dakdouk was responsible for training pro-Iranian militias in Iraq with the aim of attacking American forces. He was detained by US forces in Iraq in 2007, but was later released.

Medical officials said Saturday evening that three soldiers had been wounded in Hezbollah attacks on the northern border the previous day. It did not provide details on the attacks.

Rambam Hospital in Haifa said one soldier was brought to the medical center on Friday morning in light condition, after being wounded by shrapnel. Later in the day two soldiers arrived at the hospital after being wounded in a separate attack. One was initially listed in serious condition, and was later upgraded to moderate. The second soldier was listed in light-to-moderate condition.

The Israel Football Association’s Referee Association said the seriously wounded soldier was Niv Steif, a soccer referee in Israel’s top league currently doing reserve duty. It said he was injured by an anti-tank missile.

Several rockets targeted Israeli border communities throughout Saturday, causing no injuries. Ground troops responded with artillery at the sources of fire. In one instance, the army said tanks shelled an area near the northern town of Metula “to remove a threat.”

Israeli forces carried out various strikes in souther Lebanon, targeting Hezbollah sites. cells and command centers.

Hezbollah-led attacks along the northern border with Lebanon have been constant since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, when thousands of terrorists massacred some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in Israel and took some 240 hostages. Daily exchanges of fire with Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror groups are raising fears of a broader conflagration.

Friday saw several rockets were fired at IDF posts, and the Iron Dome intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace, triggering sirens in several communities in the Upper Galilee, the military said. One of the posts near Moshav Mattat suffered damage in the rocket attack, and a number of injuries were reported at the scene.

Troops responded with artillery shelling at the sources of the fire and other terror targets in southern Lebanon, the military said.

Additionally, the IDF stated it carried out a drone strike on a group of armed operatives in the contested Mount Dov area on the Lebanon border overnight.

The skirmishes on the border have resulted in four civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of six IDF soldiers. There have also been a number of rocket attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

On the Lebanese side, more than 120 have been killed, according to an AFP tally. The toll includes 98 Hezbollah members — some of whom were killed in Syria –, 16 Palestinian terrorists, at least 14 civilians and three journalists.

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