The air strike attributed in foreign media reports to Israel which killed six Hezbollah agents in Syria on Sunday also killed six Iranian soldiers, including commanders, AFP quoted a source close to Hezbollah as saying on Monday.
"The Israeli strike killed six Iranian soldiers, including commanders, as well as the six members of Hezbollah. They were all in a convoy of three cars," the source said.
An Iranian semi-official news site reported that an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general was among those killed in the strike.
"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 along with Jihad Mughniyeh and three others in the same car," the Dana news website said, referring to the son of Hezbollah's late military leader Imad Mughniyeh.According to reports in Hezbollah-affiliated media, two Israel Air Force helicopters fired missiles at a target in the Syrian Golan, killing a number of Hezbollah operatives, including Mughniyeh.
Western intelligence sources said Jihad Mughniyeh headed a large-scale terrorist cell that enjoyed direct Iranian sponsorship and a direct link to Hezbollah. The cell had already targeted Israel in the past, launching attacks on the Golan Heights.
...Iran is Hezbollah's primary financial and military supporter. Both countries are aiding Syrian President Bashar Assad in his struggle to keep power against a coalition of Sunni opposition militias and Islamist radicals.
...and from Times of Israel, 19 Jan 2014:
....According to Israel’s Channel 10 Allahdadi, who had previously commanded Iran’s forces in the country’s Yazd province, had recently been reassigned to Syria to provide support for Shiite militias fighting for President Bashar Assad.
The operatives killed in the strike included
- Abu Ali Tabatabai, who Channel 10 called the head of the group’s offensive operations;
- Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a senior Hezbollah commander killed in Damascus in 2008; and
- Mohammed Issa, responsible for the organization’s operations in Syria and Iraq.
Tabatabai’s identity was disputed: Channel 10 reported that Tabatabai was the most senior official killed in the group, and was likely the primary target of the Israeli strike. According to its report Tabatabai was considered a central Hezbollah figure and was charged with planning the group’s offensive on Israel’s northern border in a future war — including the invasion and takeover of northern Israeli communities.
Meanwhile other outlets, including Israel Radio and Walla News, had Tabatabai as an Iranian officer and a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, sent to assist Hezbollah in an advisory position.
As for Mughniyeh, Dubai-based news outlet Al-Arabiyah reported that he was under the command of Issa, who was responsible for Hezbollah’s forces and fortifications on the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights.
The bases they commanded in Syria contained missiles belonging to the Syrian regime, as well as missiles sent by Iran and Hezbollah. Those weapons were meant to be used in “a new front” with Israel if Assad were to fall, the report said.
As the son of slain Hezbollah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, and with close personal connections to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and the commander of the Iranian Republican Guard’s special forces unit, Qassem Soleimani, Jihad Mughniyeh was known as “the Prince” within the Lebanese terror organization....