Israel Carries Out Strikes Near Major Lebanese City of Sidon

Owners of factories deny claim sites were ‘weapon storage facilities’

Israel has once again conducted two major airstrikes, now against the town of Ghaziyeh, near Lebanon’s third largest city of Sidon. The strike on Monday went much deeper into Lebanon than usual, about 40 miles.

The Israeli military said this was retaliation for an explosive drone that hit near a community in Lower Galilee. They presented the attacks as hitting Hezbollah “terrorist infrastructure” and reported using artillery fire against other areas of Lebanon.

The targeted buildings were termed in some Israeli reports as “weapons storage facilities,” although media reports from Lebanon dispute this. Lebanese sources referred to the Ghaziyeh sites as factories and quoted owners as denying any weapons were stored in these locations.

Israel also earlier reported airstrikes against a building in the Ayta ash-Shab region of Lebanon at which a presumed terrorist was staying. Fighter jets were dispatched to hit the building early Monday following a Sunday sighting. The terrorist was not identified, nor is it clear whether he survived or not.

There were definitely casualties in the factory airstrikes, however, as Lebanese media said fires ensuing from the airstrikes did “major destruction” to both sites, and that a number of wounded people were taken to the local hospital. All told, at least 14 people were reported wounded.  Seven of the wounded factory workers were said to be from Syria.

While airstrikes this deep into Lebanon are unusual, the really unusual part is hitting so close to one of the nation’s major population centers, with reports saying this is the biggest strike near a population center since four months ago, when tit-for-tat strikes between Israel and Hezbollah began.

This follows fairly substantial Israeli strikes last week, which killed at least 10 civilians according to reports. Hezbollah responded by retaliating against northern Israel in the tit-for-tat fashion that has brought events to the cusp of a full-scale Israeli invasion.

Hezbollah has yet to comment on today’s attack, but Lebanon’s Foreign Minister issued a statement urging nations to be critical of what he termed “provocative” Israeli attempts to try to lure Lebanon into a war they’re eager to avoid.

The international community has tried to broker deals between Israel and Lebanon. France has suggested a proposal in which Hezbollah would be backed 10 km away from the border and replaced by Lebanese military personnel. It’s not clear if the proposal is being welcomed, although any deal preventing a full war would certainly be endorsed by some.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.