Israeli rockets kill five Hezbollah members in Syria: reports
Five members of Hezbollah were killed on Sunday when the Israeli military fired two rockets into Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, according to media reports.
Among the five members killed were two Hezbollah commanders and Jihad Mughniyah, the son of Imad Mughniyah, a Hezbollah commander killed in a car bomb in Syria in 2008, a source told Anadolu Agency.
Soon after the strike, the Lebanese militant group mobilised its fighters on Lebanon's southern border with Israel, a Lebanese security source told AA.
The rockets, fired into Syria's Quneitra governorate, targeted a rocket-launching cell that was preparing to fire at Israel, the Lebanese MTV television channel reported.
Hezbollah, meanwhile, has said that its members were hit as they toured a farm in Quneitra.
The Israeli army has so far declined to comment.
Earlier on Sunday, according to a Lebanese army statement, Israeli soldiers hurled smoke grenades and tear gas into Lebanese territory after four Israeli army vehicles approached the border. Three Lebanese soldiers suffered smoke inhalation as a result.
In the statement, the army said it launched a complaint with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011, Israel has made repeated, though infrequent, incursions into Syrian-controlled territory, ostensibly targeting weaponry that could potentially end up in the hands of the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
The most recent strike was in December, when Israeli warplanes struck weapons warehouses near Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. Two members of Hezbollah were reportedly killed in the 8 December attack.
Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah warned on Friday that further attacks from Israelis on Syrian territory would lead to retaliation.
"The repeated bombings that struck several targets in Syria are a major violation, and we consider that any strike against Syria is a strike against the whole of the resistance axis, not just against Syria," Nasrallah told Al-Mayadeen television in Beirut.
"The axis is capable of responding,” he said, referring to Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. “It could happen any time.”