Amid fears of retaliation to airstrike on Iranian embassy, Hezbollah fires dozens of missiles towards northern Israel

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Tel Aviv [Israel]: The Iran-backed Lebanese aimed militia, Hezbollah, on Friday, fired a barrage of missiles towards northern Israel, The Times of Israel reported, adding that the projectiles were intercepted by the country’s defence systems, while some impacted open areas or fell short in Lebanon.

The IDF said some 40 rockets were fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the attack claimed by Hezbollah. After the attack, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said its air defences shot down two explosive-laden drones launched by Hezbollah in northern Israel.

Sirens were sounded even as shrapnel fell following the interception of the projectiles directed towards northern Israel. The attack came amid fears of retaliation by Tehran following the Israeli air strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria that killed two of its top generals, The Times of Israel reported.

Hezbollah-led forces have been attacking Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis since October 8, a day after its ally, Palestinian terror group Hamas, launched its October 7 massacre, killing 1,200 people across southern Israel and abducting 253 people.

Hezbollah said its attacks were in support of Gaza amid the war with Hamas, The Times of Israel reported.
Hezbollah said in a statement that the rocket attack targeted an IDF base in Ein Zeitim and came in retaliation for the earlier “Zionist aggression.”

Earlier, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a press statement that the Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi concluded an assessment with US CENTCOM chief Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla on the threat of an attack by Iran on Israel.

“We held a joint assessment of the situation, to ensure that our coordination is tight,” Hagari said. He said there are still no changes in instructions to civilians amid the heightened alert of a potential Iranian attack. “If there are any changes, we will update [the public] immediately,” Hagari added, stressing that civilians should still remain vigilant, as Israel’s air defences are “among the best in the world, but not hermetic.”

“We have been at war for the past six months, and we have dealt with all the existing threats. Our defense is ready, and knows how to handle each threat individually. We are also ready for attack, with a variety of capabilities, to protect the citizens of Israel,” he said.

According to the Times of Israel, Hagari accused Iran of “escalating the situation in the Middle East” amid the war in Gaza, adding, “We will know how to operate wherever needed.” To a question on the IDF’s threat assessments of Iran, Hagari highlighted that Tehran has been acting against Israel since the start of the war, citing attacks by its proxies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

“We’ve been acting against them [all] since the start of the war,” he says. “Iran is escalating, pushing for regional escalation. We’ll know how to deal with the Iranian threat. We are well-prepared and will know how to respond to anything,” he said.

Aircraft carrier USS Dwight Eisenhower was despatched north through the Red Sea towards Israel in a show of deterrence from the Biden administration. The carrier would be able to intercept missiles and drones fired by Iran.

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