12 years, 2 months, and 4 days separate us from the day of the assassination of Imad Moghnieh in Kfarsouse, Damascus on the 12th of February, 2008. Subsequently, Israel has assassinated Jihad Moghnieh, Samir Al-Kontar, and Mostafa Badreddine on Syrian soil. In addition, Hassan el-Lakkis was assassinated in Al-hadat, Lebanon.
Secretary General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah vowed to respond to all those assassinations. A precise and tactical military response is an essential part of Hezbollah’s strategy of rallying their support base. However, their responses have been timid and have taken place either on Syrian territory or disputed territories in between, such as Shebaa Farms.
“Hezbollah and Israel are both operating within Syrian battlegrounds, as they both wish to avoid larger confrontations.”
Informed sources indicate that, based on the targeted attack on a vehicle transporting a Hezbollah field commander in the Golan Heights along with 3 of his companions, the security and intelligence war between Hezbollah and Israel remains ongoing. However, Hezbollah and Israel are both operating within Syrian battlegrounds, as they both wish to avoid larger confrontations.
Sources on the field confirmed that the commander and his companions survived the attack after the first missile missed its target due to the speed the vehicle was travelling at. The commander had been suspicious of the movements of surveillance planes above, especially since Hezbollah have been observing closely for several days the intense movement of surveillance of drones. These drones have been circulating the skies above Beirut’s Southern Suburb, Bekaa, South Lebanon, and the Lebanese-Syrian borders.
While the identity of the target was not revealed, sources indicate that Hezbollah are heading towards a complete media blackout over the incident. They issued circulars to inform leadership to exercise caution and vigilance. In addition, a decision was made to fully conceal the incident and its details; as a result, it was consequently withdrawn from Al-Manar’s news bulletin and evening news last night.
Protecting the Target
Sources hint that Hezbollah’s media blackout aims to avoid an obligation of accusing Israel and having to respond to save face. This happened a few months ago when one of the party’s headquarters was targeted by an Israeli drone, and Hezbollah responded with an attack just shy of the border. They also aim to protect their commander and maintain his anonymity in fears of a subsequent assassination, especially considering his activities on the Golan front.
Source conclude that Hezbollah’s media blackout is also psychological, as it attempts to suggest that they maintain initiative and may respond at any moment, especially from within Syria.