(Photo:JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Senior Hizbullah Members Reportedly Injured Or Killed In Alleged Israeli Strikes In Syria

Numerous senior members of the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group are believed to have been injured or killed in alleged Israeli air strikes near Damascus Tuesday evening. The relatively large-scale Israeli raid reportedly included the firing of nearly two dozen missiles that destroyed multiple Iranian-supplied weapons depots, some of them purportedly containing advanced munitions and GPS components used to transform rudimentary projectiles into precision-guided missiles. It was not immediately clear if the main international airport was the primary target, however, the Hizbullah officials apparently were boarding a Tehran-bound flight when their plane was hit. During the operation, an Israeli defense system was activated by an incoming Syrian missile deployed to counter the aerial assault, although it is has not been revealed whether the rocket was intercepted or landed in a non-populated area. Such Israeli strikes have become rarer since September, when Syrian forces inadvertently downed a Russian reconnaissance plane—killing all fifteen members on board—during an attempt to repel an Israeli attack on Iranian assets. In response, Moscow delivered the sophisticated S-300 defense system to the Assad regime, which, coupled with ongoing tensions with the Kremlin, has reduced the frequency of Israeli missions in Syria. Last night’s strikes are thus being construed as a clear and direct message to Russia, Iran and Turkey, which will be the dominant players on the ground in Syria following the prospective withdrawal of American troops from the country. To this end, the Jewish state has consistently vowed to continue to do what it is necessary to prevent the establishment of Iranian-sponsored forward-operating bases along Israel’s northern border and to inhibit the mullahs from transferring advanced arms to its Shiite underlings. Analysts note that if the senior Hizbullah officials were specifically targeted for assassination, this would mark an escalation in Israel’s tactics for upholding these “red lines.”

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