Hezbollah says field commander among four fighters killed in southern Lebanon

Militia leader Hassan Nasrallah has vowed retaliation against Israel over assassination of Hamas official in Beirut

Hezbollah leader: 'War with us would be very costly'

Hezbollah leader: 'War with us would be very costly'
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Hezbollah announced on Wednesday night that four of its fighters had been killed, hours after the leader of the Lebanese militia threatened retaliation against Israel over the assassination of Hamas deputy leader Saleh Al Arouri.

The four men were killed near Lebanon's southern city of Naqoura. A local field commander, Hussein Yazbek, was among the dead, Hezbollah said.

About 170 people have been killed in Lebanon since October 8, when Hezbollah and allied Palestinian groups in Lebanon began daily cross-border clashes with Israel. Hezbollah fighters account for most of the deaths.

Israel's strikes had been limited to the border region until Tuesday, when Mr Al Arouri was killed in a drone strike in Beirut. The attack, which Israel has not claimed responsibility for, is believed to be the first time that Israeli forces have carried out a strike on the Lebanese capital since 2006, when they fought a month-long war with Hezbollah.

In a speech on Wednesday night, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the group was “not afraid of war”. The killing of Mr Al Arouri “will not go unanswered and unpunished”, he said.

“If the enemy thinks of waging a war on Lebanon, we will fight without restraint, without rules, without limits and without restrictions,” he added.

Hezbollah announced it carried out several strikes on Israeli troops and positions near the border on Wednesday.

Israel said it hit back with artillery after munitions were fired from Lebanon. Fighter jets also hit Hezbollah targets and a tank struck a “terrorist squad” in Lebanon, the military said.

Hezbollah said its attacks on Israel are in support of its Palestinian allies and the people of Gaza, where Israeli strikes have killed more than 22,300 people since the start of the war. The Israeli offensive came in response to a Hamas attack in southern Israel on October 7 that killed about 1,200 people.

Mr Al Arouri will be buried on Thursday in the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, in Beirut.

Updated: January 04, 2024, 8:59 AM