UK-based Syrian Observatory denies Hezbollah’s claims on Badreddine’s death
Adnan (C-L) and Hassan Badreddine (C-R), brothers of slain top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine who was killed in an attack in Syria, mourn next to his casket during the funeral in the Ghobeiry neighborhood of southern Beirut on May 13, 2016. (AFP/Anwar Amro)
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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights rejected Hezbollah's statement on the assassination of its prominent commander Mustafa Badreddine, refuting its accusation that “takfiri” groups - referring to Sunni opposition militant groups in Syria - had killed him in the Syrian capital Damascus.
It quoted reliable Islamic sources and others from the Syrian regime as saying that no rocket was fired at Damascus international airport or its vicinity in the past few days.
The Observatory also did not record the firing of any shell in the area.
“All that Hezbollah claimed over the death of its military commander by a shell fired by local factions near the airport area is baseless,” it added.
“Hezbollah has to reveal the real story of the death of its military commander in Syria.”
The pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday said that the rebels factions are some 12 kilometers away from Damascus airport and they therefore did not have the capabilities to kill Badreddine.
Several Syrian opposition members speculated that his death was an “inside job that reflects the conflict between the Iranian and Russian forces in Damascus.”
Hezbollah announced Badreddine's death in Damascus on Friday, blaming “takfiri” groups for the murder.
Badreddine, who was in his mid-50s, was a key player in Hezbollah's military wing.
He was on a US terror sanctions blacklist and a key suspect in the 2005 assassination in Beirut of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri in addition to being one of Israel's most wanted men.
Hezbollah has deployed thousands of fighters in Syria where Badreddine led its intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad.