An emir of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Syrian Qalamun was killed in an attack initiated by Hizbullah and the Syrian regime forces.
According to al-Akhbar newspaper published on Tuesday, Abou Abdullah al-Iraqi, who is reportedly responsible for training suicide bombers and preparing booby-trapped vehicles used in attacking several Lebanese areas.
Hizbullah has been engaged since weeks in heavy fighting with gunmen positioned between Arsal and the Syrian region of Qalamun.
Tensions skyrocketed in the area earlier this year with a major influx of refugees and fighters after Syrian forces backed by Hizbullah recaptured most of Qalamun.
Despite the Syrian regime’s advances, pockets of opposition forces, including jihadists from al-Nusra and the ISIL, remain in the area.
Al-Akhbar reported that al-Iraqi had fled the Syrian Yabrud last March after Hizbullah and the Syrian regime forces seized control of the area.
However, the daily said that Hizbullah continued to pursuit al-Iraqi.
The report pointed out that al-Iraqi “personally supervised the process of buying vehicles from Lebanon and rigging them with explosives in al-Qalmoun, only to send them again to Lebanon to use them in attacks.”
The newspaper added that Hizbullah also attacked a villa in Qalamun that was being used as a venue to prepare the booby-trapped vehicles.
In March, the Syrian army and Hizbullah seized full control of the rebel bastion Yabrud, dealing the opposition a heavy symbolic and strategic blow in the Qalamun region adjoining the Lebanese border.
Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria has prompted retaliatory bomb and rocket attacks by extremist groups against areas in Lebanon sympathetic to the movement. The attacks have mostly killed civilians.
Hizbullah and Lebanese security forces have said many of the car bombs used in those attacks originated in Yabrud.