Half of Hezbollah’s South Lebanon Commanders Killed

Latest Developments

Israeli counterstrikes have killed “half of Hezbollah’s commanders in southern Lebanon,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed on April 24. Gallant’s remarks came as Israel launched an unusually intense wave of bombing sorties against the Iran-backed terrorist group’s forces in southern Lebanon. “These were the men responsible for belligerent actions, for the drive to strike at the citizens of the State of Israel,” Gallant said during a visit to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Northern Command. The other half, he added, “are in hiding and abandoning southern Lebanon in the face of IDF actions.”

Gallant signaled that Israel could escalate to a ground operation if mediated diplomatic efforts to get Hezbollah to withdraw from the border failed. “Our main objective was and remains to bring about a different security situation here and for residents of the northern State of Israel to be able to go back home to quiet and safety,” Gallant said, referring to some 80,000 civilians evacuated from border communities. “The coming period will be decisive in this regard.”

Hezbollah has confirmed the loss of 287 operatives since it began launching attacks on Israel on October 8 in solidarity with the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, including two officers killed in separate strikes in Aadloun and Arzoun on April 23. Israeli strikes have also killed dozens of other Lebanon-based terrorists who cooperate with Hezbollah but are affiliated with other groups.

Expert Analysis

“Though overshadowed by the Gaza war — where Israel was forced to launch an invasion after the Hamas horrors of October 7 and to free the 241 hostages held by Gaza terror groups — Israeli forces have achieved remarkable battlefield gains in Lebanon with precision standoff munitions. The question now is whether Hezbollah will regard the fate of its Hamas allies, cut its losses, and back off before it, and the Lebanese people in general, suffer a far worse fate.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The IDF eliminating Hezbollah field commanders and Radwan Force members is a blow to the Lebanon-based group. However, these types of targeted strikes against mid-level commanders and fighters are unlikely to compel Hezbollah to drastically change its strategy and cease launching attacks against northern Israel. So far, Hezbollah considers the loss of its members and infrastructure as an acceptable price to pay to keep the Israeli military entangled in a second front.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

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