Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite group, is deploying a new weapon in its propaganda campaign aimed at persuading its followers to wage battle in Syria - a song dedicated to the memory of Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of the late commander Imad Mughniyeh.
Jihad Mughniyeh was one of six fighters who died in an alleged Israeli air strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights earlier this year. An Iranian general was also killed in the attack.
Imad Mughniyeh was Hezbollah’s military commander who was killed by a car bomb planted in his vehicle in Damascus in 2008. It is widely assumed that Israel’s Mossad was behind the killing.
Hezbollah has been embroiled in the Syrian civil war, sacrificing fighters to help Bashar Assad fend off a rebellion launched by oppositionists and Sunni Islamists.
According to a report which appeared Saturday in the Saudi newspaper Okaz, an unprecedented number of Hezbollah fighters have been killed during fighting in the Qalamoun border region along the Lebanese-Syrian border, but the organization has sought to cover up its losses.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday the group’s military operation against armed insurgents in the Syrian mountainous region was a success and that only 13 of the group’s fighters were killed in the fighting.
“The armed insurgents were defeated and pushed out of the areas of engagement – they were defeated in all those areas and left,” said Nasrallah in a televised statement on the group’s Al-Manar channel.
Hezbollah and the Syrian Army made big advances against insurgents in mountains north of Damascus, shoring up President Bashar Assad’s grip on the border zone.
“The accomplishments of the resistance and the Syrian Army in Qalamoun serve Lebanon’s interests first and foremost,” Nabil Qaouk, the deputy head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, said in a speech on Sunday, the Lebanese Daily Star reported.
“Through the [battles] we have distanced the threat from Lebanese villages more than any other time in the past,” he said, adding, “The biggest loser, however, is Israel, which was betting on ISIS and the Nusra Front to drain Lebanon, the resistance, the people and the army.”
Arab media and web sites were disseminating the Hezbollah video which was aimed at “getting young people to follow in the footsteps of Jihad [Mughniyeh].”
"Jihad my brother, my blue sea, my blue sea,” read the song’s lyrics. “Jihad my brother, my brother, my knight steadfast, you are in us the flame does not know submission.”
“You are in us a leader with determination, you are driving, taught us and our intention to be striding in the path of immortality ....”