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05 Apr 2020 | 03:40 AM UTC

Lebanon: Hezbollah commander assassinated by unknown assailants near Nabatiyeh April 4

Hezbollah commander Qasem Soleimani, believed to be a close associate of Iranian Quds Force, killed in southern Lebanon April 4; avoid area

security
LBN

Event

On Saturday, April 4, Hezbollah commander Ali Mohammed Younis was assassinated by unknown individuals near Nabatiyeh, in the southern region of Lebanon. Younis was reportedly found by the side of a road, between the towns of Qaqiyat al-Jisr and Zutar al-Gharbiya, with stab and gunshot wounds. He was believed to be a close associate of Qasem Soleimani, a commander of the Iranian Quds Force, who was killed in a US-led airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, in January. Unconfirmed reports state that a suspect has been arrested; however, the identity has not been made available.

Context

Hezbollah is a Shi'a militant group and political party based out of Lebanon. Israeli officials are concerned that as the fighting in Syria slows, Iran and Hezbollah will attempt to maintain a permanent presence along the Israeli border. Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in numerous armed conflicts over the past 30 years, including the month-long 2006 war between the two parties.

Advice

Due to the ongoing terrorist threat, travelers to Lebanon are advised to report any suspicious behavior to authorities and to remain vigilant when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, etc.). As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel along the Lebanese, Israeli and the Golan Heights border.