Another High Ranking Hezbollah Leader Killed in Israeli Strike

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An Israeli strike near Baalbek, Lebanon, has killed Maytham Mustafa al-Attar, a key figure in Hezbollah’s air defense forces, marking yet another strike targeting the group’s leadership involved in operations along the border as tensions continue to rise with Israel.

The Strike

Local media sources originally reported that a suspected Israeli strike targeted a single motor vehicle in the town of Chaat, just north of Baalbek.

Media of the strike aftermath, which has been geolocated to the main street of Chaat (Geo: 34.1252844, 36.2417581), confirms that a van was targeted on the Main Street of Chaat.

The state of the vehicle suggests that a very low yield or even a purely kinetic warhead was used due to the lack of shrapnel and burn damage. Strikes of this nature are consistent with previous Israeli targeting of Hezbollah key leadership.

The Target

The IDF released a statement online stating that al-Attar was eliminated.

“Maytham led many of the unit’s activities and took part in planning and carrying out numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis. Maytham also flew to Iran multiple times, where he gained knowledge and assisted in building up Hezbollah’s force and arsenal of Iranian weapons,” the IDF said.

The statement went on to add that “His elimination significantly harms the capabilities of Hezbollah’s Aerial Defense Unit.”

His death was also confirmed by Hezbollah, who released a martyr poster.

Strikes Continue

Al-Attar’s death comes amid continued Israeli strikes targeting key Hezbollah leadership.

On July 3, Muhammad Nimah Nasser, commander of the Aziz unit, was killed during an Israeli airstrike in Tyre. Last month, regional Nasr unit commander Taleb Abdullah was killed in a strike in Jouaiyya, marking one of the most high-profile strikes against Hezbollah since October 7. Back in January, Radwan unit commander Wissam al-Tawil was killed in an Israeli strike in Tyre.

The deaths of these figures resulted in large-scale retaliatory rocket and drone attacks by Hezbollah, so such action is anticipated.

Tensions Escalate

The past several weeks have seen saber-rattling and threats of military response by both Hezbollah and Israel.

After Israel’s Northern Command announced that it had greenlit plans for offensive operations over the border into Lebanon, signaling potential for a broader military engagement, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned of “no rules, no boundaries, no limits” in a war with Israel.

Likewise, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has regularly threatened a great Israeli military response to Hezbollah strikes, warning that “In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely hit.”

Meanwhile, Iran-backed elements of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, such as Kataib Hezbollah, Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, have pledged to fully back Hezbollah in the event of a war with Israel.

Negotiations seeking to de-escalate the current situation continue to fail while escalating rhetoric between Hezbollah and Israel underscores a rapidly intensifying conflict along the Israel-Lebanon border.