Israeli forces are carrying out an “offensive action” across southern Lebanon, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday, without specifying whether ground troops had crossed the border.

“Many forces are deployed on the border,” and the army is “carrying out offensive action currently throughout southern Lebanon,” Gallant said in a video statement.

 He also claimed that “half of Hezbollah’s commanders in southern Lebanon have been eliminated” in more than six months of violence, while “the other half are in hiding and abandoning the field to (Israeli army) operations,” he added without giving a specific number.

In addition, and according to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera channel, “the Israeli army raised its alert level, closing streets and roads adjacent to the border with Lebanon.”

Earlier, the Israeli army stated that it had struck 40 Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon as near-daily exchanges of fire on the border have been taking place since October 8, 2023.

The army said in a statement that its “fighter jets and artillery struck approximately 40 Hezbollah terror targets” around Aita al-Shaab in southern Lebanon, including storage facilities and weaponry.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that Israel had carried out more than 13 strikes near Aita al-Shaab and surrounding villages.

The strikes came after Hezbollah said that it fired a fresh barrage of rockets across the border on Wednesday after a strike blamed on Israel killed two civilians.

With AFP

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