On Sunday morning, Hezbollah announced that one of its top officials, Samir Kuntar, in addition to some eight members and commanders were killed by an Israeli airstrike on a Damascus suburb.
According to Haaretz, the group said in a statement that ” the Zionist enemy’s planes” struck a building in Jaramana, a district of Damascus, around 10:15 P.M. on Saturday, killing Kuntar and several Syrian civilians.
The National Defence Forces in Jaramana, which are part of a nation wide grouping of loyalist Syrian militias under the umbrella of the army, mourned Kuntar and one of its commanders on its Facebook page.
“Two Israeli warplanes carried out the raid which targeted the building in Jaramana and struck the designated place with four long-range missiles,” the NDF in Jaramana Facebook page said. Jaramana is a bastion of government support and is the home of many of Syria’s Druze minority as well as Christians.
Kuntar’s brother mourned him on his Facebook page on Sunday without giving details about his death, but said his brother was a martyr. “With pride we mourn the martyrdom of the leader Samir Kuntar and we are honored to join families of martyrs,” Bassam Kuntar said on his Facebook page.
Kuntar was imprisoned by Israel for a 1979 attack that killed four people. He was released in 2008 as part of a prisoner swap with the Lebanese Shi’ite group and he is believed to have rejoined the group since.
Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the war, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that officials said were destined for Hezbollah, Israel’s long-time foe in neighbouring Lebanon.
In January, an Israeli strike in Syria killed six members of Hezbollah, including a commander and the son of the group’s late military leader Imad Moughniyah in the province of Quneitra on the Golan Heights.