Jihad Mughniyah, Hezbollah Commande
Source: The Daily Star
Sunday, The Daily Star in Beirut reported a possible Israeli helicopter missile attack in Syria’s Quneitra province adjacent to the Golan in which at least 6, possibly upwards of 10, Hezbollah and Iranian commanders may have been killed:
A Lebanese security source told The Daily Star.
Jihad Mughniyeh and field commander Mohammad Issa who goes by the nom de guerre “Abu Issa” were killed in the attack, the source said. The strike entirely destroyed one Hezbollah vehicle and damaged another, he added.
Hezbollah issued a statement confirming the strike saying “a number of mujahedeens were martyred,” during an inspection mission in the Syrian town of Quneitra, The Hezbollah statement added that the names of the fighters will be divulged later.
Agence France-Presse, however, cited an unidentified Israeli security source who said that an Israeli helicopter carried out the strike against “terrorists” in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights, saying they were preparing an attack against Israel.
While Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, would not comment specifically on the reports of a strike, he told an Israeli radio station that considering Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, had recently denied the group’s presence in the Golan Heights, “he has some explaining to do.”
Jihad Mughniyah was the son of the terrorist mastermind, Imad Mughniyah. The elder Mughniyah had been the most sought after terrorist prior to 9/11. He was involved with several spectacular events. Among his terrorist exploits were the 1983 Beirut truck bombings of barracks that killed 241 US Marines and 58 French Paratroopers, the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires in which 85 were killed and hundreds injured. He was accused in the 9/11 Iran Links federal case in New York of having facilitated the travel and training of the 9/11 perpetrators. Imad Mughniyah was, allegedly killed by Israel’s Mossad in a February 2008 bombing of his vehicle following his attendance at a celebration at the Iranian Embassy commemorating the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday confirmed that a Senior Hezbollah leader had been arrested and confessed as a possible agent for Israeli Intelligence.
Nasrallah also declared that further Israeli attacks on weapons deliveries inside Syria or in Lebanon would be a causes belli for reaction by the so-called Axis of Resistance; Iran, Assad’s Syria and Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. He warned about possible invasion of the Galilee in Israel and use of “sophisticated missiles”. Israel’s air force conducted raids last month on Damascus international airport and Dimas on the Lebanese border. Those raids on December 8, 2014 may have destroyed Russian equipment that might have deployed to counter a possible No-fly Zone inside Syria. The IAF has conducted several prior raids that included targeting longer range Iranian –supplied longer range Fateh-110 missiles. Hezbollah is estimated to have more than 150,000 rockets and missiles in its arsenal. Hezbollah has been engaged in actions in Syria and along the Lebanon border fighting Sunni opposition forces. Its casualties in the nearly four year civil war have steadily mounted.
Yaakov Armidror, former IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) and National Security Advisor in a recent strategic evaluation of Terrorist threats facing Israel ,published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies , reported by the Jerusalem Post, noted Hezbollah capabilities:
Looking ahead to 2015, Israel faces threats posed mainly by non-state entities motivated by Islamic ideology.
“The strongest of them is Hezbollah, which was formed with a dual purpose in mind. It represents Iran’s long reach in the area and against Israel, while at the same time it aims to control Lebanon, where the Shi’ites are the largest ethnic group,” Amidror added.
Hezbollah most closely resembles an army, and its arsenal totals some 150,000 missiles and rockets, several thousand of which can target any area in Israel.
“This rare and substantial firepower apparently even exceeded the firepower possessed by most of the European states combined,” Amidror said in the report.
Additionally, Hezbollah is armed with surface-to-sea missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, drones and modern anti-tank missiles.
“It is well organized into a military-style hierarchy and appears to possess command and control systems of high quality. It was established by Iranian leaders, but its leadership has always consisted of Lebanese people who were closely linked to Iran’s interests,” the report continued. “Hezbollah assisted the Shi’ites by providing for their needs in the civilian sphere as a base for building its military power.”
Prior to the news on the alleged Israel attack in Quneitra, Syria, the IDF was conducting artillery drills on the Golan. Hezbollah’s possible invasion threat would be costly to the Sh’ite terrorist army. Especially in view of both Israeli intelligence penetration of the Iranian proxy. Nonetheless, the Israel’s military command must be on alert for possible retaliation by Hezbollah in the Shebaa Farms area adjacent to the Golan and in the Galilee.