Israeli towns bordering Lebanon came under attack Monday as Iranian-backed Hezbollah launched a barrage of rockets that sparked massive wildfires.

While Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted around two-thirds of the 30 rockets fired by Hezbollah, the remaining missiles struck northern Israeli communities like Kiryat Shmona, Kfar Giladi, and the Naftali Ridge.

Over 100 Israeli firefighters, soldiers, and emergency personnel battled for nine grueling hours against rapidly spreading blazes fanned by high winds.

At one point, commanders warned that the scale of the infernos might force them into the unconscionable decision of prioritizing which areas to focus their life-saving efforts on. In Kiryat Shmona alone, 13 firefighting crews scrambled to protect homes as residents had to be pulled from their evacuated houses.

When the wildfires were finally brought under control early Tuesday morning, a shocking 6 square miles of land had been scorched, with numerous homes destroyed. The human toll included 16 people hospitalized with injuries, 7 of them reserve Israeli soldiers who sustained lung damage from smoke inhalation.

Hezbollah’s latest assault on innocent Israeli civilians serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of capitulating to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It is high time for Washington to stand unequivocally with its closest ally in the Middle East before a second theater of war opens in Israel’s north.

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