Yaalon: What was Hezbollah Doing in Syria?

January 18, 2015  

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon refused to say anything Sunday eveing about the reported IAF strike in the Syrian Golan that killed Jihad Mughniyeh, a senior Hezbollah man whose father, Imad Mughniyeh, was also assassinated by Israel.

However, Yaalon did respond to the reports from Hezbollah about the incident, and said that they contradicted Hezbollah’s own official claims, made in recent years, that they do not operate in the Golan.

“If Hezbollah say their people were hurt in the targeted killing, let them explain what they were doing in Syria,” Yaalon told Radio Kol Chai.

He also took a swipe at Labor’s Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog and Tzipi Livni. “If Buji and Tzipi were running the country, we would already be [facing a] Hamastan in Judea and Samaria,” he said.

Hezbollah admitted Sunday that one of its senior men was killed along with five or six other operatives in an IAF strike in Syria. Reports quoted in Israeli media said that the man is Jihad Mughniyeh. Hezbollah reportedly called the death of Jihad Mughniyeh “an unbearable blow.” He was reportedly very close to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

The men killed in the strike were reportedly assisting terrorists in preparing missiles for launch against Israel. 

Besides Mughniyeh, six other fighters were killed, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star. They included Hezbollah field commander Mohammad Issa, whose kunya name is Abu Issa, the source said.

An Iranian field commander, Abu Ali Tabtabai, was reportedly also killed in the strike, which entirely destroyed one Hezbollah vehicle and damaged another, the source said.

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