By Brett McCrea
When the news reported that Imad Mughniyah was assassinated I was stunned.
This is equivalent to killing Bin Laden. Except that locating and successfully executing an attack on “Mughsy” was a much more difficult task.
To say he had a heightened security posture would be the understatement of the year.
He is/was the mythological equivalent of the unicorn, something that has always been talked about but never actually seen. To illustrate this point, most of the pictures of Mughniyah were taken very early in his life (his late teens/early 20s… he is now roughly 45).
He was vital to Iranian interests in Lebanon because he was someone the Iranians could depend on to execute Tehran’s will. He demonstrated that back in 1983 when he orchestrated the Marine Corps Barracks bombing.
He was vital to Hezb’allah because of his trusted status with Tehran and the weapons, finance, and training they provided.
In essence, he was an important bridge between Iran and Hezb’allah.
He is someone the Iranians depended on for over 20 years and the kind of trust and stability he provided to the regime in Tehran and to Hezb’allah in Lebanon will be difficult to replace.
Given his senior position within Hezb’allah and the organization’s acting as Damascus’ proxy in fighting Israel, this would also be a significant set back for Syria as well (not to mention a huge embarrassment to the government, because it happened in their capital).
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