Veteran Hezbollah military commander al-Sayyed Khalil Ali al-Sayyed Hassan has been killed in clashes in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, media reports said on Monday.
A pro-Hezbollah South Lebanon news portal confirmed the reports, describing al-Sayyed Hassan as a “martyr leader” who hailed from the southern town of Aitaroun.
He was killed “performing his sacred jihadi duty in the confrontation against the mercenaries of blasphemy and Wahhabism,” the website added, saying he will be laid to rest in his hometown on Tuesday afternoon.
Media reports said the slain commander belonged to Hezbollah's first generation of operatives.
“He had been a field commander in Aleppo since Hezbollah began its participation in the battles in Aleppo's countryside, where he shuttled among several fronts,” the reports said.
“Al-Sayyed Khalil took part in landmark Hezbollah operations against the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon,” the reports added.
Since Hezbollah joined Syria's conflict in 2012 to support President Bashar Assad's regime, it has lost several prominent members in combat. More than 1,000 of its foot soldiers have been killed in the Syria war, which began in 2011, compared to the 1,276 fighters killed during its 18-year guerrilla war with Israeli forces that occupied southern Lebanon until 2000.
Last month, Hiebollah said its top military commander Mustafa Badreddine was killed by artillery shelling carried out by “takfiri groups” near the Syrian capital Damascus.
Ali Fayyad, better known as Abu Alaa Bosna, who led some of Hezbollah's military operations in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Bosnia was killed in February during battles with the Islamic State group near the town of Khanaser in Aleppo.
And Hassan Hussein al-Haj, a top Hezbollah commander, was killed in October while fighting al-Qaida-linked fighters in the northwestern province of Idlib. A week later, his replacement, Mahdi Hassan Obeid, was killed during fighting in the same province.
Another senior military officer, Fawzi Ayoub, a dual Lebanese-Canadian citizen who was wanted by the FBI on charges of trying to use a forged U.S. passport to enter Israel, was killed in May in Aleppo, reportedly in an ambush by Western-backed rebels.
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