UPDATE: Israeli airstrikes on Golan Heights kills nine Hezbollah fighters

Published January 18th, 2015 - 05:14 GMT

An Israeli helicopter strike hit a Hezbollah convoy in Syria's Golan Heights Sunday killing nine fighters, among them a field commander, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star.

Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah's slain top military commander Imad Mughniyeh and a field commander who goes by the nom de guerre "Abu Issa" were killed in the attack, the source said. The strike entirely destroyed one Hezbollah vehicle and damaged another, he added.

Hezbollah issued a statement confirming the strike saying "a number of mujahedeens were martyred," during an inspection mission in the Syrian town of Quneitra, The Hezbollah statement added that the names of the fighters will be divulged later.

An Israeli helicopter carried out a strike against "terrorists" in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights who were allegedly preparing an attack on Israel, an Israeli security source had earlier said.

The source told AFP the strike took place near Quneitra, close to the cease-fire line separating the Syrian part of the Golan Heights from the Israeli-occupied sector, confirming a report by Al-Manar television.

The report had said that an Israeli helicopter fired two missiles in the Syrian province of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

It did not specify the target of the strike in the area, called Amal Farms. The Israeli military declined comment and Syrian state media did not mention the attack.

Quneitra has seen heavy fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels including Al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

"An Israeli helicopter fired two missiles on Amal Farms in Quneitra," the Lebanese news channel said, adding that two reconnaissance planes were also flying over the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group monitoring the civil war, said the missiles fired Sunday targeted armed vehicles, citing local sources.

It said it did not know if the vehicles belonged to the army, Hezbollah or anti-Assad insurgents.

Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the nearly four-year civil war, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.


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