Iran and Hezbollah have openly threatened to attack after Israel reportedly assassinated two of its senior officials in Syria.
Iran directly threatened Israel on Monday following a reported attack by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) on a Hezbollah target in the Golan Heights on Sunday, in which several Hezbollah terrorists and six Iranian soldiers, including a high ranking general, were killed.
The Iranian Fars News Agency reports that the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) stated on Monday that an IRGC war veteran commander, providing military counseling services to the Syrian forces in their fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists, has been killed. The statement claims he was killed “while defending the Shi’ite holy sites in the Muslim country.”
“Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, the veteran commander of the IRGC, was martyred during an Israel helicopter gunship attack on the Syrian town of Quneitra while fulfilling his duty as military advisor and defending the holy Shi’ite shrines in the country,” the statement read.
Hezbollah issued a statement confirming the strike saying “a number of mujahedeens were martyred,” during an inspection mission in the Syrian town of Quneitra.
Hezbollah identified the killed terrorists as Mohammad Issa,42, Abbas Ibrahim Hijazi, 35, Mohammad Ali Hasan Abu al-Hasan, 29, Ghazi Ali Dawi, 26, and Ali Hasan Ibrahim, 21, together with Jihad Mughniyeh, commander of Hezbollah operations in the Golan Heights and son of Hezbollah chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was allegedly assassinated by Israel’s Mossad in Syria in 2008.
Israel Cooperating with ISIS?
Fars News further reports that the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani threatened Israel with “a crushing response to the attack” and condemned “the assassination of several members of the Lebanese Hezbollah.”
Shamkhani further accused Israel with cooperation with ISIS and the al-Nusra Front terror organization. “This action has no doubt been adopted in line with (Israel’s) continued cooperation with the Takfiri (ISIS and al-Nusra Front) terrorists and plays a complementary role for the approach of the Tel Aviv rulers to using this terrorism stream for creating a buffer zone at the forged orders of this fake regime,” Shamkhani said on Monday.
Iran’s PressTV quotes a source close to Hezbollah that said the terror organization’s response to Israel’s deadly attack will be “painful.”
“The attack against six Hezbollah members will have a painful and unexpected response, but it can be assumed that it will be controlled to prevent an all-out war,” the sources told the Lebanese As-Safir Arabic daily on Monday. Another Hezbollah senior official is quoted as saying that Hezbollah will retaliate in the Golan, on Israel’s northern border.
The Syrian information minister has slammed the attack as a “serious mistake.” “Israel has made a serious mistake when it attacked on Syrian soil today,” Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview with Lebanese al-Manar TV on Sunday.
Israel On High Alert
Israel has raised the level of its alertness after the attack. Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries were reportedly deployed in the north in anticipation of a possible attack by Hezbollah, and an Arab source reports that Israel has deployed its Oren Yarok radar system, which is geared towards mid-range rocket and is part of the Israel anti-missile Arrow defensive system.
Hezbollah claims to have a vast arsenal of weapons that can strike at any target in Israel.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz stated Monday that Israel is prepared for “any development,” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that Israel “will do anything” to defend its citizens.
Israel’s Security Cabinet will convene today to discuss the latest developments and the ramifications of the attack.
Israel estimates that Hezbollah will retaliate. Where, when and how they will do so has yet to be determined.