Hezbollah killing: Jihadists blamed for Badreddine death

Syria, May 14: Hezbollah’s top military commander in Syria, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, was killed in artillery fire by jihadists, the Lebanese group says.

Badreddine’s death near Damascus airport, announced on Friday, was initially blamed on Israel, Hezbollah’s chief enemy.

Badreddine was believed to have run all Hezbollah’s military operations in Syria since 2011.

Hezbollah has sent thousands of troops to support Syria’s President Assad.

This has pitted it against several groups of anti-Assad rebels – from so-called Islamic State (IS) to the al-Nusra Front.

Without naming any group, the Hezbollah statement said: “Investigations have showed that the explosion, which targeted one of our bases near Damascus International Airport, and which led to the martyrdom of commander Mustafa Badreddine, was the result of artillery bombardment carried out by takfiri groups in the area.”

Takfiri is used to describe militants who believe Muslim society has reverted to a state of non-belief. BBC, Photo source: AFP