As Congress gets set to impose new sanctions on Iran and the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, Argentina’s indefatigable prosecutor, once again sheds the unwanted spotlight on the Islamic Republic’s overseas terror activities, the mullahs have been hit with yet more bad news. On January 18, Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a convoy of military vehicles traveling on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights with devastating effect.
The missile strike hit pay dirt and liquidated a dozen Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives including senior commanders from both organizations. The Iranians, already reeling from the death of Gen. Hassan Shateri in February 2013 as he traveled from Syria to Lebanon, acknowledged the loss of Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, a ranking officer believed to be a ballistic missile expert and indispensable to Iranian operations in Syria and Lebanon.
Hezbollah suffered an equally harsh blow losing six of its operatives including Jihad Mughniyeh, son of the infamous Imad Mughniyeh who was on the FBI’s most wanted list before the Israelis separated his head from his shoulders in a daring cloak and dagger operation in Damascus in 2008. The death of Jihad as well as other senior Hezbollah commanders in the January 18 strike can be viewed as catastrophic for the terrorist group which has experienced a number of setbacks in recent months.
Hezbollah is now in crisis mode. Plummeting oil prices have adversely affectedthe group’s cash flow. Hezbollah has two primary sources of income. It runs a lucrative narco-terror operation in Lebanon’s Be’kaa Valley, exporting hashish internationally. But these funds are merely gravy for the organization which derives most of its income from the Islamic Republic. But the Iranians have been hard hit by plummeting gas prices brought upon by Saudi efforts to increase oil production thereby increasing supply and reducing the price of crude. Iran, already hurt by international sanctions, has been forced to cut back on its overseas mischief and Hezbollah has felt the pinch. There have already been reports of widespread salary delays and cutbacks. Israel’s devastating strike comes at a very inopportune time for the battered organization.
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