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War Expands, Hezbollah retaliates

Related: Making Sense of the Various Factions in the Global Jihad.

The increasingly complex conflict has now officially reached the Israeli interior.

For the past two years, Israel has conducted occasional airstrikes against the Syrian army. Critics say that at least some of the airstrikes have directly aided al-Nusra Front, the official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Recently the Israeli army attacked and killed senior members of the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah inside the Golan Heights. The fatalities allegedly included an Iranian adviser. Hezbollah is fighting al-Nusra and ISIS along the Lebanese border. al-Nusra currently controls some land on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Hezbollah has retaliated, killing two members of the Israeli army and injuring seven others. The attack occurred in the Sheeba Farms area on the Israel side of the Israeli-Lebanese border. Sheeba Farms is claimed by Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. Israel formerly annexed the Sheeba Farms area in 1981.

Israel has fought five wars with Lebanon. The most recent was in 2006, which was strictly a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Other wars with Lebanon include the 1948 Israeli-Arab War, the 1963 Six Day War, 1982-85 war and occupation of Lebanon, and the 1993 Seven Day War.

Israel has never had a peace agreement with Lebanon.

Lebanon itself is degenerating into another civil war between Sunni and Shiites. Lebanon was in a state of civil war during most of the time between 1975-1989.