Hezballah military commander killed in Syria
Hezbollah has confirmed its military commander, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in Syria this week in what it described as a “major explosion” at Damascus airport.The BBC reports that Badreddine was accused of being behind the killing of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in Beirut in 2005. Some report that the explosion that killed Badreddine was caused by an Israeli airstrike. As usual, the Israelis are not talking about it.
Media reports in Lebanon and Israel quickly suggested the blast had been caused by an Israeli airstrike, a suggestion to which Hezbollah gave weight, announcing it was investigating whether a “missile or artillery strike” had been responsible.
Badreddine was the most senior member of the organisation to have been killed since the death of his predecessor and brother-in-law, Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated by a joint Mossad/CIA operation in the Syrian capital in February 2008.
There was no immediate reaction from the Israeli government, which has authorised at least eight air strikes against targets inside Syria since the start of the civil war five years ago. Most had targeted anti-aircraft systems that Israeli officials claimed were being moved to Lebanon, where they could pose a threat against its air force.