Israel launched airstrikes Monday deep into Lebanon, killing at least two people, prompting the terror group to responded by firing 60 rockets towards the Jewish state. 

The Israeli attack came in response after Iran-backed Hezbollah shot down an Israeli drone hours earlier. Israeli warplanes struck Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, its deepest attack into the territory of its northern neighbor. 

Hezbollah responded by firing 60 Katyusha rockets at an Israeli army headquarters in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, near Syria.

The attacks marked an escalation in violence between heavily armed Hezbollah and Israel since their 2006 war, which has fueled concerns of a potential regional spillover of the Gaza war.

The strike on Baalbek, because of its location deep inside Lebanon, is the most significant one since the early January airstrike on Beirut that killed top Hamas official Saleh Arouri.

As it battles Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces have also had to contend with strikes from Hezbollah on its northern front since Hamas terrorists attacked Israeli communities on Oct. 7. 

Hezbollah and Hamas are allies. Both are backed by Iran.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to step up attacks on Hezbollah even if a cease-fire is reached with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He said those who think a temporary cease-fire for Gaza will also apply to the northern front are ‘mistaken.’

Hezbollah’s deputy leader Shiekh Naim Kassem warned in a speech Monday that the group has many more weapons to use if Israel expands the war.

‘If the Israelis go too far, we will retaliate more. All what we have used until now in the fighting is the minimum of what we own,’ he said in a reference to Hezbollah’s huge arsenal including precision-guided missiles and explosive drones.

The Associated press contributed to this report. 

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