An Iranian independent news website reported early Thursday morning that Israel killed a senior commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon.
The website, mashreghnews.ir, said Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed by “mercenaries of the Zionist regime,” but provided no details about his death. The semi-official FARS news agency confirmed the report a few hours later.
Shateri led Guard forces in Lebanon and oversaw Iranian-financed reconstruction projects there, aiding Hezbollah both financially and by training its members.
A second senior Iranian official was reported killed Wednesday in an attack on his car after he crossed from Syria into Lebanon.
The man, Hossam Khosh Newes, was killed by “armed terrorist groups” – a blanket term that Syria and Iran use to designate opposition forces – the Iranian Embassy was quoted in The New York Times as saying.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Newes was traveling with Shateri at the time of the attack, and whether the two incidents were related.
Iran is a close ally of Syria and Hezbollah, a powerful player in Lebanon that Israel and the US consider a terror organization. Tehran provides political and military support to both.
Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, the head of the Guard’s Quds Force, which oversees external operations of the Guard throughout the world, visited Shateri’s family to express his condolences.
Iran has pointed a blaming finger at Israel for a number of incidents in which scientists and generals were either killed or disappeared. In August Iranian families filed a lawsuit against Israel, the UK and US, charging them with murder in a number of alleged assassinations.