Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, a senior commander in the Revolutionary Guard Corps, paid a visit Thursday to the Beirut grave of Jihad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah commander killed in a reported Israeli airstrike on Syria earlier this month.
Soleimani, a close friend of Mughniyeh, was seen laying wreaths at the graves of Hezbollah fighters killed in the strike near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights, Iranian PressTV reported.
The January 18 strike reportedly targeted the leaders of a substantial new Hezbollah terror hierarchy that was set to attempt kidnappings, rocket attacks and other assaults on military and civilian targets in northern Israel. The unit involved Hezbollah commander Mughniyeh and IRGC Quds Force commander Soleimani, a Channel 2 report last week said. The report gave no indication at the time that Soleimani was in the region.
Footage from the Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen showed Soleimani sitting beside Mughniyeh’s grave.
Mayadeen TV shows images of Iran Intel Chief Qassem Suleimani visiting grave of Jihad Imad Mughniya pic.twitter.com/nxcDyeeEly
— سلطان سعود القاسمي (@SultanAlQassemi) January 29, 2015
The younger Mughniyeh attended the funeral of Soleimani’s mother in Tehran on September 14, 2013.
According to a semi-official Iranian Fars news report, Soleimani and Mughniyeh, the son of senior Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, had a relationship “deeper than that of a young man with his father’s friend, and those who didn’t know, imagined that he was indeed his son.”
Imad Mughniyeh was killed in 2008 in an operation widely thought to have been ordered by Israel.