In a rare statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) expresses regret for killing a Lebanese soldier while carrying out a strike on December 5.
The IDF said in the statement that its forces “were working to neutralize a tangible threat that was identified” at a Hezbollah launch and observation post along the border.
“The IDF received a report that a number of soldiers in Lebanon’s army were injured during the attack. Lebanese army forces were not the target of the attack,” the statement said. “The IDF is sorry for the incident, and it will be investigated.”
The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) said that the soldier was killed when one of its positions along the border with Israel was directly targeted by the IDF.
“An army military position in the… Adaysseh area was bombarded by the Israeli enemy, leaving one soldier martyred and three others injured,” the LAF said in an earlier statement.
This was the first Lebanese soldier to be killed by the IDF since clashes on the Lebanese-Israeli border broke out last October after Hezbollah and allies began launching attacks from southern Lebanon in support of the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.
The soldier was not the only casualty reported in southern Lebanon during the day. A Syrian civilian worker was killed and two of his family members were killed when the IDF struck a chicken farm located between the town of Arnoun and the al-Khardali River.
Hezbollah carried out a total of 14 attacks against the IDF on December 5, targeting several military sites, troop gatherings and vehicles. The group’s Military Media released video footage showing some of the attacks.
So far, the clashes on the Lebanese front have claimed the lives of six IDF troops, three Israeli civilians, 87 fighters of Hezbollah, two fighters from the Lebanese Resistance Brigades, one fighter from the Lebanese Resistance Regiments, seven fighters from the Hamas Movement, four fighters from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one Lebanese soldier, 13 Lebanese civilians and another civilian from Syria.