Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have once again ramped up operations along the southern Lebanese border at a moment Hezbollah leadership has declared it is “fully prepared for war with Israel”.
The latest escalation came Wednesday when an Israeli drone targeted a car full of Hezbollah operatives just inside Syria near the border with Lebanon. The Shia resistance organization said all escaped alive and without injury in what’s become an increasingly common IDF tactic – assassination attempt by drone.
However, it’s extremely rare that such an assassination attempt be caught on video. But on Friday CCTV footage emerged capturing the moment of the strike, appearing in Arabic and Israeli media:
CCTV footage from the alleged IDF drone strike 2 days ago on the Hezbollah vehicle on the Syrian-Lebanese border. pic.twitter.com/1SoH0X5XBy
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) April 17, 2020
It’s being widely reported that there was initial strike – either a missed strike or possibly a ‘warning’ – followed by a missile which destroyed the vehicle.
An eyewitness told AFP “An Israeli drone first struck near a car transporting Hezbollah members,” but indicated “The passengers got out before it was then directly hit in a second strike” – leaving no casualties.
Syria’s state SANA news service also confirmed the attack and breach of its sovereign territory in the IDF operation.
Since the beginning of the nine-year long proxy war in Syria, Israel has attacked inside Syria hundreds of times and over the past years has vowed to roll back Iran’s presence inside the country – there at the invitation of the Assad government.
Late Friday the IDF reported fence damage along the Isreali-Lebanese border. “This is a severe event. We hold the Lebanese government responsible for actions from its territory,” the IDF said in a statement.
It’s unclear who among Hezbollah’s ranks was the intended target of Wednesday’s UAV strike, however, regional media reporting indicated a “top Hezbollah security official” was in the car and escaped.
There’s been no confirmation of who exactly was in the car, but they were likely on their way to Damascus for high level meetings.