Top Hezbollah field commander killed in IDF drone strike in south Lebanon

Military says Hussein Makki ‘planned and carried out many terror attacks’ amid war; in response, terror group fires barrage of 60 rockets at Mount Meron air traffic control base

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

Hussein Ibrahim Makki, a top Hezbollah field commander killed in an Israeli drone strike, May 14, 2024. (Hezbollah media office)
Hussein Ibrahim Makki, a top Hezbollah field commander killed in an Israeli drone strike, May 14, 2024. (Hezbollah media office)

A top Hezbollah field commander was killed in an Israeli drone strike in southern Lebanon on Tuesday night, the military said. In response to the death of the commander, the terror group launched a barrage of some 60 rockets at a sensitive air traffic control base in northern Israel

Hussein Ibrahim Makki, according to the Israel Defense Forces, was a senior commander in the terror group’s so-called Southern Front unit. He had previously commanded Hezbollah’s coastal division.

Makki was targeted while driving near Tyre, according to the IDF and Lebanese media. Emergency responders said two others were wounded in the strike.

Hezbollah announced Makki’s death, saying he was killed “on the road to Jerusalem,” its term for operatives slain in Israeli strikes. The terror group did not refer to Makki as a commander or list a role for him.

The IDF said Makki “planned and carried out many terror attacks against the Israeli home front amid the war.”

The military says that more than 30 Hezbollah commanders have been killed in its strikes in southern Lebanon amid the war in the past seven months.

On Wednesday morning, in response to the killing of the commander, Hezbollah fired a barrage of some 60 rockets from Lebanon at northern Israel, mostly targeting Mount Meron, located some eight kilometers (5 miles) from the Lebanon border.

The terror group has targeted Mount Meron several times amid the ongoing war, launching large barrages of rockets at the mountain, as well as guided missiles at the sensitive Israeli air traffic control base that sits atop it.

At least one heavy rocket was fired at the Biranit army base on the Lebanon border.

Several of the 60 rockets were intercepted by air defenses, while some caused “minor damage” to the Mount Meron base, the IDF said.

Smoke rises after rockets fired from Lebanon strike Mount Meron in northern Israel, May 15, 2024. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it targeted the Mount Meron base with dozens of rockets, as well as the Biranit base with additional projectiles.

There were no injuries, according to the IDF.

The terror group said the attacks were “part of a response to the assassination,” referring to Makki.

The strike on the top commander came hours after an Israeli civilian was killed and five soldiers were wounded in a Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile attack against a military position near the northern community of Adamit.

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 ten 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.

The Iron Dome air defense system fires interceptor missiles as rockets are fired from Lebanon, as seen from the northern Israeli city of Safed, May 15, (David Cohen/Flash90)

Hezbollah has named 298 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 60 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 60 civilians have been killed.

Meanwhile, for the second night in a row, the IDF said its fighter jets shot down two drones heading toward Israeli territory from the “eastern direction.” Neither drone entered Israeli airspace, the military added.

The statement came as the Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed to have launched two drones at Eilat.

Amid the ongoing war, Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria have claimed to have launched dozens of drones at Israel, with the IDF reporting downing many of them. Iran itself also carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel last month with hundreds of drones and missiles.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: