At least six Hezbollah members, including senior commander Jihad Mughniyeh, were killed in a reported Israeli helicopter strike in the Syrian Golan Heights on Sunday, according to sources close to the terror group. Another six Iranians were reportedly killed in the same strike.
Israel has maintained silence on its involvement in the attack.
But since Sunday night, the new hashtag “prepare your bomb shelters,” launched by Lebanese activists, has reached more than 12 million people, the movement’s news channel Al-Manar reported.
“The Iranians usually don’t retaliate directly,” Raz Zimmt, who researches Iranian politics at Tel Aviv University’s Alliance Center for Iranian Studies, told The Times of Israel. “Hezbollah and Iran’s interest at the moment is to avoid escalation that will bring about all-out confrontation at the border. Hezbollah is in over its head in Syria, and Iran has invested tremendous resources in Syria and Iraq. The last thing it needs is a war with Israel.”
Lebanon is bracing for an attack from Israel if the Iranian-backed Hezbollah retaliates for an Israeli military helicopter strike last week on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
The attack killed five Hezbollah fighters, including Jihad Imad Muganiyeh, 25, the son of Imad Muganiyeh, a top Hezbollah commander who was killed reportedly by Israelis in Syria in 2008.
There’s “lots of security and uniformed guys talking into their radios,” one resident in south Beirut – the Hezbollah stronghold – told WND.
“People seem understandably nervous and some fear a repeat of July 2006, or worse,” he said.
In July 2006, Hezbollah and Israel waged a 34-day war that resulted in Israeli forces finally withdrawing from Lebanon but not before considerable damage had been caused the country.