The next 24 hours in Lebanon is crucial to establish if a skirmish this morning on the Lebanese Israeli border will escalate into a war or be left as a one-off battle – before the movement's chief Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech on Friday expected to announce plans to retaliate against Israel for killing earlier in the month six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian guard General.
It would appear from a number of reports, that Hezbollah has attacked an Israeli military convoy in the Shebaa Farms area and possibly killed four IDF soldiers.
Reports are sometimes conflicting and the situation is hard to determine clearly as Hezbollah officials will not make a statement and different media in Lebanon is reporting the facts emerging from the skirmish slightly differently from each other.
Yet although the sequence of strikes and counter strikes is hard to confirm, what is clear is that around 30 shells had been fired from the Israeli side across the Lebanese border, perhaps retaliating to the Hezbollah assault on the IDF convoy which involved an anti tank weapon.
According to Reuters, who are quoting Israeli sources, the initial Hezbollah attack only wounded four soldiers though.
Lebanese security sources claim the attack struck a convoy, damaging two vehicles, with some Lebanese outlets speculating that the Israeli soldiers were trying to identify tunnels presumably dug by Hezbollah.
Israeli military source said Israeli helicopters were deployed after the anti-tank missile struck the vehicle and the army was checking whether there had been any attempt to abduct one of the soldiers.
The attack follows an Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah convoy near the Golan Heights on Jan. 18 that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general along with six Hezbollah fighters, including the son of slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh
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