Iranian Commander Killed In Syria Was A Major Enemy Of Israel

General Hassan ShateriGeneral Hassan Shateri

Photo: YouTube/Lenziran Newsvideo

Iran vowed revenge against Israel after a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was shot dead in southwestern Syria last week while travelling to Lebanon.A closer look at General Hassan Shateri (aka Hessam Khosnevis) shows just how important this man was, and why Iran quickly blamed “agents and supporters of the Zionist regime.”

Shateri was a senior officer in the IRGC’s elite Quds force — the international arm of the Revolutionary Guards — and reportedly “the highest ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer to be killed outside Iran.”

Iran’s official Press TV described him as leading “the Iranian-financed reconstruction projects in the south of Lebanon” — where Shi’ites form a majority of the population — for the last seven years.

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned “Khosnevis” and others for supporting Hezbollah, describing Khosnevis as a provider of technical support of “the terrorist group’s private communications network” and Iranian President Mahmoud “Ahmadinejad’s personal representative in Lebanon.”

Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic newspaper based in London, reports Shateri helped build a communication networks, using fibre optic systems, to provide Iran with “its own telephone, television, and satellite communication facilities across the Lebanon” in addition to controlling banks, hotels, and shopping malls.

Furthermore, Asharq Al-Awsat states that Shateri “controlled several funds amounting to $200 million a year used to replace Hezbollah’s lost arsenal and rebuild its missile sites close to the demarcation line with Israel” after they were decimated in its war with Israel in the summer of 2006.

According to Israeli assessments, Hezbollah has amassed more than 60,000 rockets and missiles since the war and can now reach anywhere in Israel.

UPI reported that Shateri and two aides were killed Monday near Zabadani, a border town where Hezbollah has a major base and arms depot, when a Syrian rebel group ambushed his vehicle.

Other members of the Free Syrian Army told UPI that Shateri was killed in Israel’s Jan. 30 airstrike on Jamraya, near Zabadani. There were reports that IRGC members were killed in the strike.

Either way the event reflects Iran’s involvement in Syria and the regeneration of tensions between Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel.

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