A Puzzling Escalation in the Golan

Qifa Nabki

Jihad Mughnieh appears above in photographs with Qassem Soleimani and Hassan Nasrallah. Jihad Mughniyeh appears above in photographs with Qassem Soleimani and Hassan Nasrallah. Mughniyeh was killed in a strike by an Israeli gunship in the Syrian-controlled portion of the Golan Heights yesterday.  (h/t Firas Maksad)

The Syrian vortex has made strange bedfellows over the past year. The rise of the Islamic State had the effect of briefly putting everyone else on the same team, a federation of American fighter pilots, Hizbullah commandos, Syrian Army rank-and-file, and Iranian military strategists. Israel contributed the odd play, but mostly communicated its support for Team World in the language of press conferences and interviews with ex-Mossad chiefs. Some even wondered whether a more enduring geopolitical realignment was underway…

This was the backdrop to Israel’s puzzling strike in the Golan yesterday, which killed six members of Hizbullah and several Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Among the dead were Jihad Mughniyeh (son of the assassinated Hizbullah kingpin, Imad Mughniyeh), whose pictures with Hassan Nasrallah, Qassem Soleimani, Naim…

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