Senior commander in Hezbollah’s elite force killed in IDF strike

Ali Ahmed Hassin, a Radwan field commander, had been tasked with attacks on Ramim Ridge area in northern Israel amid war; explosive-laden drone hits near Rosh Hanikra

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Ali Ahmed Hassin, a senior field commander in Hezbollah's elite Radwan force, killed in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon, April 8, 2024 (Hezbollah photo)
Ali Ahmed Hassin, a senior field commander in Hezbollah's elite Radwan force, killed in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon, April 8, 2024 (Hezbollah photo)

The Israel Defense Forces early Monday eliminated a senior field commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan force in southern Lebanon, the military and the terror group said.

Ali Ahmed Hassin, according to the IDF, held a rank equivalent to a brigade commander, and was charged with attacks on northern Israel’s Ramim Ridge, an area that has come under repeated rocket, missile, and explosive-laden drone fire amid the war against the Hamas terror group in the south.

“As part of his role, he was responsible for the planning and execution of terror attacks in the Ramim Ridge area against the Israeli home front,” the IDF said.

Hassin was struck in the southern Lebanon town of as-Sultaniyah. According to the IDF, another two Hezbollah operatives under his command were killed in the strike.

Hezbollah announced Hassin’s death, saying he was killed “on the road to Jerusalem,” its term for operatives slain in Israeli strikes. The terror group did not refer to him as a commander.

The Radwan force is believed by Israeli officials to be tasked with potentially infiltrating into the country.

Hassin was the fifth Hezbollah officer with a rank equivalent to a brigade commander to be killed by Israel amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF. The military has said that more than 30 Hezbollah commanders have been killed in its strikes in the past six months.

Meanwhile, on Monday afternoon, an explosive-laden drone launched by Hezbollah struck an area near Rosh Hanikra.

The IDF said the strike caused a small fire in an open area, and that there were no reports of injuries.

Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack, claiming to have targeted an Israeli naval base in the area.

Drone infiltration sirens had sounded in several communities in the Western Galilee amid the incident.

Throughout Sunday, Hezbollah continued its attacks on northern Israel, with the IDF saying it targeted sites belonging to the terror group in response.

On Sunday morning, a barrage of rockets was fired from Lebanon at the Golan Heights and Manara area, and in the evening, a rocket fired at the northern city of Safed was successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the IDF said. There were other attacks on army bases and communities in northern Israel throughout the day.

The IDF said Sunday evening that its fighter jets carried out strikes on Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon’s Kafr Kila, as well as a rocket launcher in the town of Yaroun.

Earlier Sunday, the IDF said fighter jets carried out strikes on a military compound belonging to the Radwan force in southern Lebanon’s Khiam. The compound included seven buildings used by the terror group, according to the IDF.

The IDF said it also struck a Hezbollah command center in Toura.

File: Smoke billows after an Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese border village of Tayr Harfa on April 6, 2024. (KAWNAT HAJU / AFP)

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

Some 3,100 rockets, missiles, and drones have been launched from Lebanon at northern Israel since the beginning of the war. Another 35 have been fired from Syria, according to the IDF.

Some 4,700 Hezbollah positions have been hit by the IDF amid the war, according to the military.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in eight civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 10 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 273 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 53 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 60 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

Tensions in the region have been high since an alleged Israeli strike in Damascus on Monday killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members, among them a senior Quds Force commander, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Iran has vowed revenge.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah has said it supports Iran’s right to “punish” Israel, and in televised remarks on Friday, its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said a response was coming.

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