An Israeli strike in Syria on Sunday killed the son of a slain top Hezbollah commander and another four fighters in a move that could ratchet up tensions with the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement, which recently boasted of rockets that can hit any part of the Jewish state.
Hezbollah fighters in towns and villages along the border with Israel went on high alert, said an official from the group. In the Shiite-dominated areas of south Lebanon and Beirut the streets emptied quickly, as residents feared an escalation. Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV warned that Israel was “playing with fire that puts the security of the whole Middle East on edge.”
A Hezbollah official identified one of the five slain men as Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah operative assassinated in 2008 in Damascus. Hezbollah blames Israel for the killing and has long vowed to avenge his death. The official said the dead included another senior Hezbollah commander, Mohammed Issa, and at least one Iranian national with the group.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the slain Iranian belonged to the Revolutionary Guards. The group, which obtains its information from a network of activists on the ground, said the Israeli strikes hit two vehicles and a home. It said the fighters were in the area to plan attacks along the Israeli-controlled frontier. (Read more about the strikes killing the Hezbollah fighters in Syria HERE)