A senior Hizbullah terrorist was among 20 members of the group who were killed in intense fighting in Syria on Sunday, Al Arabiya reports.
According to the report, the Hizbullah terrorists were killed in the Syrian town of Qusayr, following clashes between Syrian rebels and regime forces who attempted to enter the town earlier in the day.
Sources also told Al Arabiya that dozens of Hizbullah members were wounded during the fight and had been taken to hospitals in Beirut, Lebanon for treatment.
The Hizbullah official who was killed is Fady al-Jazzar, according to Al Arabiya. Al-Jazzar is considered to be a major Hizbullah leader and was imprisoned in Israel until he returned to Lebanon in a prisoner-exchange deal with Israel, the report said.
News of his death came after contact was lost with the group that was under his command, Al Arabiya said.
Earlier in the day, Syrian state TV reported that Syrian troops had entered the center of the rebel stronghold of Qusayr, seizing the town’s main square and its municipality building.
However, Hadi Abdullah, a Syrian activist speaking from Qusayr, denied to Al Arabiya that the town has fallen into the hands of regime forces. The activist added that with support from Hizbullah terrorists, the Syrian regime is heavily shelling Qusayr, leveling civilian homes.
Qusayr is home to about 20,000 residents and has been besieged for weeks by government troops. In May, a spokesperson of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) told Al Arabiya that Hizbullah was using artillery shells containing fatal Mustard Gas in the area.
The town is strategically important because it links Damascus with the coast, where regime loyalists are concentrated. This includes Alawites, to which the family of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad belongs.
Initially, the Lebanese-based Hizbullah denied it was assisting Assad quell the rebellion against him, but last year as the ongoing civil war in Syria continued, the terror group led by Hassan Nasrallah publicly offered to place itself at Assad’s disposal.
But already several months earlier, a soldier from the Free Syrian Army told The Independent newspaper, published in the UK, that Hizbullah's Shiite Muslim terrorists are full military allies of the Syrian army and that "everyone knows they have fighters there."
Hizbullah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war has been criticized both by the Syrian rebels as well as by political forces in Lebanon which oppose Hizbullah. The Syrian civil war has spilled into Lebanon on more than one occasion.