‘Two senior Hezbollah leaders killed in Syria’

Beirut, April 5 (IANS/AKI) Two Hezbollah commanders were among a dozen fighters from the militant Lebanese Shia group killed in attacks at the weekend in northern Syria, medical sources close to Hezbollah said Tuesday.

The sources named the men as Fawzi Taha, said to have been Hezbollah’s most senior leader in Syria, and Bilal Nadir Khayreddine, also known as ‘Abu Jaafar’, who is also said to have played a key role.

Taha and Khayreddine were buried on Monday in Baalbek in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, according to the sources.

Both Taha and Khayreddine were allegedly founding members of the Al-Rida Forces, the Syrian military wing of Hezbollah.

Taha was said to have been killed in an attack by militants led by Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch – known as the Nusra Front – on the northern village of al-Ais. Twelve Hezbollah fighters were killed and dozens wounded in the attack, according to the Syrian Human Rights Observatory monitoring group.

Khayreddine was reportedly killed in fighting in Qaryatayn outside the city of Homs. Originally from the village of Majdaloun in the Bekaa valley, he is said to have played a prominent role in recruiting, training and equipping Hezbollah militiamen fighting in Syria alongside government forces.



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