Top Hezbollah commander killed in Lebanon

The commander of  Hezbollah’s counterintelligence unit was reportedly assassinated in Lebanon on Saturday, 4 April.

Sources from the Iranian-backed proxy were cited by Lebanon’s MTV news as revealing the body of Ali Mohammed Younis was found stabbed to death in his vehicle near Nabatiye. The London-based, Palestinian-owned Al-Quds-Al-Arabi daily newspaper reported that Hezbollah issued a statement claiming Younis’ death was ‘connected to his work,’ although acknowledged that he might have been killed over a financial dispute with another group. According to Iran’s Fars news outlet, Younis has been “responsible for pursuing spies and collaborators.”

The Russian government-owned Sputnik agency reported that Younis had been a “close associate” of the Quds Force Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on 3 January 2020.

There have been no immediate claims of responsibility, although Lebanon’s National News Agency reported that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the death.

Both Fars and Al-Quds Al-Arabi cited claims that information provided by Hezbollah suggests that Younis was assassinated by Israel’s Mossad espionage agency or its operatives.

TV7 has been unable to verify any involvement by Israel in the incident, which comes just two weeks after the shooting death of Antoine Hayek, who was a former member of the now-disbanded Southern Lebanon Army (SLA). The SLA was a predominantly-Christian militia that functioned 1977 to May 2000 with the support of the Israeli military.

Hayek was killed in the Christian village of Miye Miye (Arabic for Water Water), and no claim of responsibility has been issued by any of the anti-Christian groups in Lebanon.