Hezbollah’s terrorist chief was assassinated last week while helping Syria plot revenge for a 2007 Israeli air strike, a British newspaper said.
Imad Mughniyeh, who died in a car bombing in Damascus last week, was visiting the Syrian capital for consultations on how to put together a spectacular attack against Israel, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.
According to the newspaper, the Assad regime wanted Mughniyeh’s help in avenging an Israeli air strike last September in northern Syria, which many independent analysts believe destroyed a nascent nuclear reactor.
Israel denied involvement in Mughniyeh’s killing and its defense minister, Ehud Barak, said Sunday that security forces were on alert for reprisals.
“It is my belief that Hezbollah, Iran and Syria do not have the complete picture on who carried out the killing, and they are rushing to blame Israel,” Barak told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Cabinet, according to political sources.
“Hezbollah will want to respond, perhaps with the help of Iran and Syria,” he said, adding that the Lebanese militia’s patrons might agree to such a request.