In a candid admission, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said yesterday that one of its generals was among those killed in an air strike on the Syrian Golan Heights which also killed senior Hezbollah operatives.
Although Israel’s military has made no official comment about Sunday’s operation, it is thought to have been an Israeli strike. Hezbollah later confirmed that among those killed were a commander known as Abu Issa and a district commander, Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of the late Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in 2008 and was thought to have been behind numerous terror attacks abroad. It is still unclear exactly how many died in the raid, but Israeli media reports say that those targeted were planning to strike Israel with rocket attacks, cross-border infiltrations, border bombings and anti-tank fire.
Rumours that Iranian Revolutionary Guards were among the dead were confirmed yesterday by a statement in a number of Iranian news outlets. It said, “Following the Zionist aggressions against the resistance in Syria, General Mohammad Allahdadi, a former commander of the Sarollah Brigade of the Revolutionary Guard, was martyred.” Allahdadi was a senior figure and the Telegraph reports that he was close to Iran’s spy chief Qassam Suleimani and had been sent to Syria to oversee the construction of four Hezbollah bases in Syria. Allahdadi’s presence in Syria appears to underscore the depth of Iranian involvement in both Syria and the activities of Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, speculation continued yesterday that Hezbollah would respond to the raid on its forces in Syria. Israel Radio news reports that Iron Dome batteries have been deployed near the Lebanese border and that IDF forces are on high alert. Meanwhile, the security cabinet is set to meet today to discuss the situation. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said yesterday, “The IDF is prepared, tracking all developments, and ready to act as needed … This statement is not simply a speech — it’s a matter of real operational preparedness.”