Israeli Drone Kills Hezbollah Commander in Strike in South Lebanon

Senior US envoy visits Israel to discuss possible Lebanon war

Israeli drones carried out a strike today on a car in southern Lebanon’s Tyre District, killing at least one. The slain was identified as Muhammad Ahmed Ayoub, a Hezbollah commander in the area. Hezbollah confirmed his identity.

Israel has increasingly carried out drone strikes on vehicles across southern Lebanon, generally targeting Hezbollah members but at times also killing nearby bystanders. The total Hezbollah death toll since October is 342.

The attack comes as US special envoy Amos Hochstein arrives in Israel to discuss the situation in Lebanon. Hochstein met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others, as well as, separately, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Earlier in the day, Hochstein met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, in a discussion that focused on securing northern Israel so that the tens of thousands of displaced could ultimately return home.

Herzog maintained that recovering the hostages from the Gaza Strip is key to resolving the northern conflict. The hostages are central to a ceasefire in Gaza, and Hezbollah has said any ceasefire in Lebanon would be conditioned on calm returning to Gaza.

Israeli government spokesman David Mencer confirmed the meeting with Netanyahu, which focused on the “relentless attacks” from Hezbollah and insisted all such attacks are “instigated by Iran.”

Although in theory Hochstein is attempting to calm the situation and preempt an Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Israel is said to be planning an all-out war if talks fail. The US is reportedly concerned about being drawn into this war, but Hochstein’s visit may also suggest that with Israel treating war as inevitable, the US is viewing it in the same way, and seeking some sort of planned participation in the conflict.

The discussions come one day after an IDF spokesman announced that Hezbollah’s “increasing aggression” threatens to lead to a wider war.

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.