Report: Hezbollah special forces commander Marwan Mughniyeh killed in Syria

Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah announces the Qalamoun campaign. (AP/Hussein Malla, File)

Marwan Mughniyeh, commander of Hezbollah’s special forces in Syria, was allegedly killed in battle on Friday. Hezbollah has not confirmed the report.

By: Lauren Calen, World Israel News

Senior Hezbollah commander Marwan Mughniyeh was reportedly killed in battle by Syrian rebels on Friday. The Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization has been fighting alongside Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against the Syrian rebel groups and the international Sunni terrorist organizations that threaten his rule.

Mughniyeh was serving as commander of Hezbollah’s special forces in Syria. He was fighting in the Qalamoun region along the Syrian-Lebanese border north of Damascus when he was killed, reports indicate. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Hezbollah is currently leading pro-Assad forces in battle for Assal al-Ward, a small town of strategic importance due to its location on a high plateau in between the Qalamoun and Anti-Lebanon Mountains.

“Regime forces and Hezbollah seized control of a number of hilltops overlooking Assal al-Ward after intense aerial shelling and attacks with Iranian-made weapons,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said. He noted that Hezbollah was leading the battles.

Hezbollah did not confirm the death of Mughniyeh and further denied rebel reports that over 40 members of its fighters had been killed in the Qalamoun region. The terrorist organization instead claimed that only three members had been killed, accusing rebel groups of exaggerating casualty numbers as a form of psychological warfare.

Mughniyeh is the cousin of former Hezbollah international operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in 2008 by a car bomb outside his Damascus apartment in an alleged joint Israeli-US operation.  Imad had been involved in bombings of both the US embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut, as well as in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994. Imad’s son, Jihad, was killed by Israeli drone fire against a Hezbollah convoy in Syria in January 2015.