IDLIB, Syria, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Two Hezbollah commanders have been killed fighting alongside government forces against rebels in Syria's Idlib province, reports indicate.
Hasan Hossain al-Haj, a senior commander in the Lebanese militant group, was killed Saturday amid a Syrian military offensive across the country. The Daily Star reports a second unidentified Hezbollah commander was killed Tuesday.
With support from Russian airstrikes and Hezbollah militants, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the weekend launched an offensive to regain territories lost to rebel forces earlier in the year.
The coalition on Sunday was reportedly trying to cut off insurgent forces in Idlib, where an alliance of rebel groups -- including al-Qaida's Nusra Front -- ejected most of the Syrian regime in April.
By August, government troops had been pushed into western Syria's Latakia province, home to the country's ruling Alawite minority, but a late-September intervention by Russian forces, which began conducting airstrikes on behalf of Assad, prompted the recent counter-attacks.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group monitoring the Syrian conflict, reported Tuesday at least seven Hezbollah fighters were killed during fighting in Hama province, south of Idlib, while 20 others were injured.
On Monday, supporters in Lebanon reportedly buried al-Haj, who was the second-most prominent Hezbollah commander killed in Syria since 2008, when Imad Fayez Mughniyeh was killed by a car bomb in Damascus.
Hezbollah, a Shia Arab militant group and political party in Lebanon, is considered a proxy force for Iran, one of Assad's primary allies, which trains and supports its fighters. Since 2012 the group has fought in Syria on behalf of Assad, who belongs to the Alawite sect associated with Shia Islam.
Al-Haj's death came one day after Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander acting in an advisory role to Syrian troops, was reportedly killed by Islamic State forces in Aleppo.