Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Following reports of an IAF helicopter strike on Sunday that targeted a convoy of Lebanon's Hezbollah operatives and killed 10, Hezbollah-run television in Lebanon indicated the incident could prompt a "costly" surge in tensions in the region.
On Sunday evening, the al-Manar news channel said the attack suggested that "the enemy has gone crazy because of Hezbollah's growing capabilities and it could lead to a costly adventure that will put the Middle East at stake."
The helicopter strike killed a commander from Hezbollah and the son of the group's late military leader Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah said, in a major blow that could lead to reprisal attacks.
The strike hit a convoy carrying Jihad Mughniyah and commander Mohamad Issa, known as Abu Issa, in the province of Quneitra, near the Golan Heights, killing six Hezbollah members in all, a statement from the group said.
Western intelligence sources reported Sunday that Jihad Mughniyeh, along with nine others, headed a large-scale terrorist cell that enjoyed direct Iranian sponsorship and a direct link to Hezbollah.
The cell had targeted Israel in the past, launching attacks on the Golan Heights.
Mughniyeh, the son of the late Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh, was believed to have been in the planning stages of more deadly terror attacks against Israel in the Golan Heights, which would have included rockets, cross-border infiltrations, border bombings and anti-tank fire.
The attacks were designed to kill IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians who live in the Golan, the sources said.
Iran's semi-official Tabnak news site said several of its Revolutionary Guards had also been killed in the attack, without giving further details. State-run Iranian television said the identity of the "martyrs" could not be confirmed.
As of Sunday night, UN peacekeepers had intensified their patrols on the border between Lebanon and Israel, local sources said.