Israeli strike on car in south Lebanon said to kill four Hezbollah members

Syrian media also reports alleged IDF strike near Damascus overnight; no comment from military on incidents

Footage shows Lebanese firefighters working to extinguish a car that was hit by an alleged Israeli airstrike in the southern Lebanon village of Bafliyeh, May 9, 2024. (Social media/X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Four members of the Hezbollah terror group were killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon on Thursday, Lebanese security sources told the Reuters news agency.

Lebanese media reported that the strike on a car took place in the village of Bafliyeh, some 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the Israeli border.

Lebanon’s civil defense rescue force said it pulled four bodies out of a car that had been scorched by an Israeli strike. Two security sources told Reuters that the four killed were members of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah following the strike announced the death of three members killed “on the road to Jerusalem,” its term for operatives slain in Israeli strikes.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces on the strike.

The alleged strike came a day after an Israeli soldier was killed in a Hezbollah-claimed mortar and missile attack on an army position in the area of the northern community of Malkia.

The slain soldier was named as Staff Sgt. Haim Sabach, 20, of the Border Defense Corps’ 869th Combat Intelligence Collection Unit, from Holon.

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.

The skirmishes on the border have resulted in nine civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 14 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Staff Sgt. Haim Sabach, who was killed in a Hezbollah attack on an army post near the northern community of Malkia on May 8, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Hezbollah has named 294 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 59 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier and at least 60 civilians have been killed.

Israel has threatened to go to war to force Hezbollah away from the border if it does not retreat and continues to threaten northern communities, where some 70,000 people have been evacuated to avoid the fighting.

Meanwhile, Syrian media reported an alleged Israeli strike on a building in southern Syria, on the outskirts of Damascus, early Thursday.

The state-run SANA broadcaster, citing a military source, claimed some of the Israeli missiles launched by fighter jets were downed by Syrian air defenses, and the attack caused “some material losses.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike targeted a “cultural center” and a “training facility” of the Iraqi Al-Nujaba movement in the Sayyida Zeinab area south of Damascus.

Three members of the group were wounded according to the Observatory, which claims to have a network of sources inside Syria.

A source within the Iraqi faction, requesting anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed to AFP that a “cultural center” belonging to the group was destroyed in the “Israeli” attack, but reported no casualties.

Al-Nujaba does “not have a declared military base in Syria,” the source added.

There was no comment from the IDF. While Israel’s military does not, as a rule, comment on specific strikes in Syria, it has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed terror groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country, over the last decade.

Recent months have seen several alleged sorties carried out against sites in Syria as part of Israel’s ongoing efforts to prevent Iran from supplying arms to its proxy Hezbollah, which has stepped up attacks on northern Israel over the past several months amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

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