This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Hezbollah celebrated the death of a military “trainer” who was killed recently during fighting against the Islamic State in northern Iraq. The Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based terror group has a long history of supporting Shia militias inside Iraq.
Ibrahim al Hajj, who is described as a Hezbollah “commander” and “a technical trainer,” was killed while “performing his jihadi duties,” Al Jazeera reported. Although initial reports claimed he had died fighting in Qalamoun in Syria, Hajj is now said to have been killed while fighting the Islamic State in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar.
Hajj was buried yesterday “in the village of Qilya in the Bekaa Valley,” a Hezbollah official told Al Jazeera. The Bekaa Valley is a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon. The valley is used by Hezbollah to stage operations inside Syria against Syrian rebel and jihadist groups in support of President Bashar al Assad’s government.
The death of a Hezbollah military trainer and commander inside Iraq should come as no surprise. Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, are following the same playbook in Iraq that they are currently using in Syria, where Hezbollah trains local Syrian militias loyal to Assad as well as augmenting military units on the battlefield.