February 15. 2013

 by Avi Melamed

 According to reports, sometime between Wednesday and Thursday night (February 13-14) a senior Iranian official named Husam Chod Nuis described as “the Iranian President’s Representative in Lebanon” was killed in an ambush.

According to sources, this man was actually an Iranian General named Hassan Shatri, and he was the key Iranian in Lebanon and Syria:

  • For the past seven years Shatri served as the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Forces in Lebanon.
  • He was in charge of the Iranian financial support of Hezbollah – totaling some $200,000,000 a year.
  • He was in charge of the military training of Hezbollah forces.
  • He was in charge of the transport of weapons and ammunition to Hezbollah.
  • And since the war broke out in Syria, he was in charge of the coordination of activities between Assad’s forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Forces, and Hezbollah.

 Shatri (58) father of four was from the town of Samnan located in between Tehran and Mashhad. Since 2005 his primary residence has been a super-luxurious villa in South Lebanon.

 The circumstances and location of of Shatri’s death are vague.

 According to some reports, Shatri was killed together with two other Lebanese on the highway between Damascus and Beirut in the area of Zabdani on the outskirts of Damascus.

 Other reports suggest he was killed inside Lebanese territory.

 A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army officially announced that Shatri was killed between January 29 and 30 in an Israeli air raid on the “Jamraya Center for Scientific Research” located in the outskirts of Damascus.

 Though at this point the circumstances of his death remain vague, according to pieces of information that I have, it’s possible that the Free Syrian Army spokesman is accurate.                

 My assessment is based on the following:

-       A few hours before the FSA’s announcement was released, an information platform I evaluate as fairly reliable, disclosed the same information. According to this information Shatri’s death was kept secret until now by the Iranians for “operational reasons.” In addition, as reported by the same source, the target of the attack – attributed to the Israeli Air Force – on Jamraya, was a convoy carrying surface to air “SAM-17″ missiles, which were to be delivered to Hezbollah in Lebanon. This information in my assessment, is accurate

-       According to information I have gathered from different information platforms which can be described as “neutral”, the attack on the convoy in Jamraya resulted in the killing of senior Revolutionary Guard officers as well as Hezbollah personnel.

-       As of the date of this report – Friday February 15, 2013 – to the best of my knowledge, no organization has claimed responsibility for the killing of Shatri. The rebels in Syria document and claim responsibility for almost every attack on Assad’s forces – and obviously for the killing of senior officials. For example, this week, one of the rebel groups known as Al-Wiya Ahfad al-Rasul, claimed responsibility for the killing of four senior officers of the Syrian 4th Division – Assad’s elite force, who were ambushed and killed near Damascus. One of the officers was the Division’s Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Said Zarifa. In a video published the rebel group announced that the operation took place following three weeks of intelligence collection.

-       Finally, on different Iranian web sites, including the formal sites of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, contradicting information was disclosed regarding the location and time of Shatri’s funeral. Some reports argue his body was flown to Dubai and then to Tehran. Others argue he was buried on Thursday. While according to other information his funeral will take place today (Friday) in his hometown of Samnan.

There is an Ironic aspect to this case. During his years in Lebanon, Shatri used a fake identity, and went by the name “Chod Nuis.” The meaning of that name in Persian is “An Excellent Planner“…

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