Friday May 13, 2016 – Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah’s top military commander, reportedly was killed in a recent explosion in Syria.
“The message is that a martyred commander has joined the convoy of martyred leaders,” Hezbollah Cabinet Minister Hussein Haj Hassan told The Associated Press.
“He boosts us with his martyrdom with strength, glory, will and intention to continue the fight against the Zionist enemy and the takfiris (Sunni extremists) until victory is achieved, God willing,” Hassan said.
Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim military group and affiliated political party in Lebanon, and has participated on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war. Both Assad and Hezbollah are also allied with Iran.
Badreddine, 55, had been overseeing Hezbollah’s military actions in Syria, and it was unclear exactly when the explosion that killed him took place. Hezbollah confirmed his death on its Al Manar television network, according to The New York Times, and described Badreddine as dying in a “huge blast” near the Damascus airport.
t also is still unknown who is behind Badreddine’s death, but both Israel and the various insurgent groups Hezbollah has been fighting are suspected. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the slaying.
Badreddine was being tried in absentia in the Hague for the 2005 assassination of a former Lebanese prime minster.
“This martyrdom will be an incentive, same as those of late commanders, for more jihad, sacrifices and continuity,” Hassan told Al Manar. “As he led the war against takfiris, the battles against takfiris will continue until victory is achieved.”