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Hezbollah chief to speak on Israel air strike on Golan

AFP , Thursday 22 Jan 2015
File Photo: Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs November 14, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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The chief of Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah is to speak next week to react to an Israeli air raid that killed six of his fighters in Syria, the group said Thursday.

Hassan Nasrallah, who rarely appears in public for fear of assassination by Israel, "will speak on Friday, January 30 to commemorate the martyrs of Quneitra", the group's Al-Manar channel said.

It added that the comments would be at a "public ceremony", without giving a venue or timing.

Israel's January 18 air raid on Quneitra in the Syrian-controlled sector of the Golan Heights killed six Hezbollah fighters, including Mohamed Issa, a commander of the group's Syria and Iran operations, and Jihad Mughniyeh, son of assassinated former commander Imad Mughniyeh.

Iran has also that a member of its elite Revolutionary Guards, General Mohamed Ali Allahdadi, died in the attack.

According to other sources, as many as six Iranians were killed, but neither Tehran nor Hezbollah has confirmed that toll.

Tensions have been running high since the raid, which an Israeli security source said hit "terrorists" preparing to attack the Jewish state.

Al-Manar said the group was targeted as it carried out field reconnaissance in Syria, where Hezbollah and Iranian forces are fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's regime against an uprising.

The raid came just days after Nasrallah threatened to retaliate against Israel for its repeated strikes on targets in Syria.

Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years until 2000, with Hezbollah claiming credit for its withdrawal following persistent guerrilla attacks, and the two countries are still technically at war.

In July-August 2006, Israel fought a bloody war against Hezbollah that killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

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