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Israel told Hezbollah it inadvertently killed fighter in Syria air strike: Report

Israel also warned the group against retaliation, a Lebanese channel reported, as tensions heighten along the border
Hezbollah has fought on the side of the Assad government in the Syrian civil war since 2013 (AFP)

Israel sent a message to Hezbollah saying it had unintentionally killed one of the group's fighters in an air strike in Syria last week, the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen channel reported Saturday night.

Hezbollah on Tuesday blamed "Zionist aggression" after commander Ali Kamel Mohsen was killed when a barrage of Israeli air strikes struck positions south of Damascus on Monday night.

In the message, reportedly sent to the Lebanese group via the United Nations, Israel told Hezbollah that it was unaware that the group's fighters were in the target area.

It further warned the group against retaliation, according to the report from Al-Mayadeen, a pro-Hezbollah channel.

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Hezbollah, meanwhile, confirmed that it had received the message but denied any Israeli threats.

Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have been high since Monday's strike. Israel has stepped up its defences along its northern border, and has redirected traffic away from roads thought to be exposed. 

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered ministers not to publicly comment on tensions along the northern borders with Syria and Lebanon, Channel 12 reported.

In several towns in Israel's north, roads that pass through exposed areas will be closed and alternate routes will be made available. The military has also decided to reduce the number of troops and equipment at the front lines and erect more effective defences in case of an attack.

Five Iran-backed fighters were killed when missiles hit weapons depots and military positions belonging to Syrian government forces, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.

The attack wounded at least seven Syrian troops, according to the official SANA news agency, which said the missiles were launched by warplanes from the Golan Heights.

Israel is known to have previously contacted the Lebanese group's operatives in Syria to warn them of impending attacks, telling them to evacuate their bases or vehicles.

Hezbollah has been officially fighting in Syria in support of the Bashar al-Assad government since 2013, preventing the loss of key parts of the country to rebel and militant forces.

Although the Israeli government sees the prevention of advanced military technology falling into Hezbollah's hands as a priority, it is also keen to not have to engage the Lebanese group in a hot war like the one in 2006.

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