Hezbollah’s Jihad Mughniyeh and six Iranian officers were killed in an Al-Nusra Front ambush yesterday in Jaroud in the Al-Qalamoun region of south Syria, websites close to Al-Nusra revealed.
The websites refuted reports by Hezbollah that the men had been killed in an Israeli raid on Al- Qunaytirah.
Abu Azzam Al-Idlibi, a member of Al-Nusra Front, said: “The killing of Jihad Imad Mughniyeh in an ambush at Jaroud, Syria, will be the end of the Persian project, God willing.”
Al-Idlibi challenged Hezbollah to release the pictures of its fighters and officers, tweeting: “From now and within the next two days, if the corpses of the Hezbollah leaders are released, then we can say they were targeted by the Israelis. Yet, if these pictures are not released, then this proves that they were killed by the mujahideen.”
Previously, sources close to Hezbollah had said that an Israeli raid on the Al-Qunaytirah region had led to the killing of commander Muhammad Issa and Jihad, the son of Hezbollah’s former military commander Imad Mughniyeh who was assassinated in a car bomb in Damascus in 2008.
A source told the Anadolu Agency: “Six Iranians including Abu Ali al-Tabtabai, an Iranian field commander, were killed in an Israeli air strike in southern Syria’s Quneitra province.”
“The attack also led to the killing of five Hezbollah members including two leaders as well as the son of former Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh”.
In a statement, Hezbollah said: “In an air strike, the Israeli air force targeted a group of our members as they toured a farm in Al-Qunaytirah.”
A Lebanese security source said: “Hezbollah announced a general alert among its ranks on the southern Lebanese border with Israel.”
Neither Israel, Syria nor Lebanon issued an official statement about the reports.