(Beirut) Five people were killed before midnight Monday, including three Syrians working with Hezbollah, in Israeli strikes targeting a convoy of tankers entering Lebanon from neighboring Syria, an NGO and a military source said, against a backdrop of escalation of violence.

Since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas on October 7, the powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah has regularly exchanged fire with the Israeli army, in support of its Palestinian ally.

The strike targeting tanker trucks comes in a context of intensifying violence between the pro-Iranian movement and Israel in recent weeks.

“Three Syrians who work with Hezbollah and two Lebanese were killed in an Israeli strike targeting a convoy of tankers entering Lebanon, on the border with Syria, on the road between Hermel and Qousseir,” said the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahmane.

The NGO, which has a vast network of sources in the country at war, added that five other people had been injured and that two people had not yet been found.

At the same time, the Syrian anti-aircraft defense was activated to counter the attack, according to the OSDH.

“At least three Hezbollah members were killed by nine Israeli missiles targeting tanker trucks carrying oil,” said a military source, adding that these strikes also targeted a building in the Lebanese region of Hermel, some 140 km from the Israeli border, “near the Syrian town of Hawch el-Sayyed Ali, completely destroying it.”

The Shiite movement is strongly deployed on both sides of the eastern border between Lebanon and Syria, particularly in the Qousseir region, where Hezbollah first revealed its military commitment alongside the Syrian regime in 2013.

On February 29, a Hezbollah fighter was killed by an Israeli drone strike in the Qousseir region, near the border with Lebanon.

A few hours before Monday evening’s strikes, the pro-Iranian movement announced that it had shot down a new Israeli Hermes-type drone over Lebanon, the fifth of this type since February.

Hezbollah, which has increased its use of attack drones to circumvent Israeli radars, also claimed several attacks on Monday, including one using a “drone squadron” against an Israeli position in the Golan Heights. occupied by Israel.

This type of attack caused major fires last week in northern Israel and the Golan.

Israel, for its part, has intensified its targeted strikes against Shiite party fighters and is targeting Lebanese territory ever deeper, particularly the Baalbeck region, a Hezbollah stronghold.

More than eight months of violence have left at least 462 people dead in Lebanon, including around 90 civilians and nearly 300 Hezbollah fighters, according to an AFP count.