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Son of Notorious Hezbollah Commander Killed in Syria

Jihad Mugniyeh, son of notorious Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyeh, was just killed by an Israeli airstrike in Syria near the Golan Heights.

Hezbollah is fighting against Sunni jihadists in Syria on behalf of the Iranian and Syrian regimes, but that doesn't mean it has abandoned its war against Israel. If the Syrian regime doesn't survive, Hezbollah won't be able to receive high-grade weapon systems from Iran anymore. It already has a formiddable missile arsenal and can now—unlike during the 2006 war—inflict signinificant damage on Tel Aviv and even Jerusalem if it dares. But with Assad out of the picture, once those missiles are gone, they're gone, and Hezbollah would be downgraded from the quasi state-conventional actor that it is now to a mere guerrilla and terrorist organization again.

It's not clear how important the now-deceased commander Jihad Mugniyeh was, but his father was a bloodthirsty psychopath with the blood of hundreds of people under his fingernails. Many of us have forgotten, but he was the most notorious anti-American terrorist in the world before Osama bin Laden usurped the position.

Mugniyeh orchestrated the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983 that killed 63 people, as well as the suicide truck bombings against French paratroopers and US peacekeepers that same year that killed 299 in one day. The attack against the Marine barracks was the single deadliest strike against the US Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima. He hijacked TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome in 1985 and executed US Navy diver Robert Stethem and dumped his body onto the tarmac. The rest of the passengers were held hostage for weeks in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war.

Argentina charged Mugniyeh with murdering 114 people in Buenos Aires in 1992 by blowing up the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish community center.

He is also believed to have masterminded the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 20 people and wounded 372.

He was car-bombed to death in Damascus in 2008, presumably by Israeli intelligence. No one else was hurt in the incident.

And now his son, aptly named Jihad, is dead too.

Jihad was working near the Golan Heights alongside infamous child-murdered Samir Kuntar whom the Israelis released in 2008, along with four Hezbollah members, in exchange for the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser who had been captured and tortured to death at the start of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

On April 22, 1979, in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, Kuntar killed policeman Eliyahu Shahar, civilian Danny Haran, and Haran's four year old daughter Einat by placing her head on a rock and smashing her skull with the butt of his rifle.

Trading that guy for two soldiers who were already dead was a raw deal for Israel.

“If we thought the enemy was cruel to the living and the dead,” former Chief Rabbi of the IDF Yisrael Weiss said, “we were surprised, when we opened the caskets, to discover just how cruel. And I’ll leave it at that.”

Mugniyeh's son may be dead, but Kuntar is an at-large recidivist psychopath who's planning more attacks. The Israelis erred in releasing him, but if they can whack Mugniyeh they can correct it by next whacking Kuntar. The last thing they should do is arrest him again.

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