Report: Hezbollah commander and four other jihadists killed in Syria

Five commanders of Iranian-backed militias in Syria were killed in an airstrike on Tuesday, as reported by the Saudi television station al-Hadath and cited by Israeli media that night. A further report indicated that one of the casualties was a Hezbollah commander.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitor, had documented three explosions and the presence of unidentified aircraft in the eastern city of Dier-ez-Zor on that day.

Syria is home to several militias funded by Iran, which have targeted both Israeli and American forces since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began in October. Among these militias is Hezbollah, which holds sway over much of Southern Lebanon and has been launching rockets and missiles into northern Israel since October 7, leading to frequent clashes and the displacement of around 100,000 individuals from their homes near the Israel-Lebanon border.

A Hezbollah fighter stands in front of anti-tank artillery at Juroud Arsal, the Syria-Lebanon border, July 29, 2017. (credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS)

Iran scaled back IRGC presence in Syria due to strikes

Recent reports have indicated that Iran has reduced the number of IRGC officers deployed in Syria following a series of Israeli air strikes. In previous incidents, a suspected Israeli strike had taken the life of Colonel Reza Zarei, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer, along with two Hezbollah fighters. Another strike in the Damascus area in January resulted in the deaths of three IRGC officers.

In February, it was reported that Iran had decided to scale back the presence of IRGC officers in Syria in response to continued Israeli strikes.

This is a developing story.