The slain Iranian had previously been reported as an “adviser,” but Iranian media today identified him as Gen. Mohammed Allahdadi, who was heading to Quneitra to inspect the defenses of the Assad government there.
Also among the slain were Mohammed Issa, the Hezbollah commander for all operations against ISIS and, perhaps most significantly, Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of a former Hezbollah military leader.
The attack is a serious blow to anti-ISIS operations in Syria, as the Assad government has increasingly relied on Hezbollah fighters, led by Issa, to resist the jihadists’ expansion deeper into their territory, and has sought Iranian expertise on defending their territory against offensives.
Hezbollah’s official news channel warned Israel the attack could “lead to a costly adventure that will put the Middle East at stake,” but while most Israelis expect retaliation for the attack, few expect it to snowball into an outright war.
Israeli officials are claiming that Mughniyeh was planning to attack the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, though many are doubting this claim, and analysts say they don’t believe it was a targeted assassination so much as Israel seeing a group of Hezbollah fighters in a convoy and deciding to attack them.