A top commander of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has reportedly been killed in an Israeli air strike near the airport in Syrian capital Damascus. The extremist group has confirmed the death of Mustafa Badreddine, 55, who was among their senior leaders.
The statement released by Hezbollah, cited by multiple news outlets, reads: "He took part in most of the operations of the Islamic resistance since 1982," after declaring he was killed by Israeli forces. The air strike is reported to have been carried out on Tuesday (10 May).
The Israeli attack is believed to have been targeting a Hezbollah weapons convoy in Syria.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has not yet commented on the matter. If the latest attack is confirmed, this will not be the first time the IDF has targeted Hezbollah forces, which are backed by Iran and pro-Assad forces inside Syria.
Badreddine was the brother-in-law of the slain Hezbollah leader Imad Moughniyah, who is also thought to have been killed by Israel. He was the prime suspect in the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed in a car bomb attack in 2005.
Badreddine was sentenced to death in 1983 of his role in a terrorist attack but escaped from prison in 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded the country.At the time of his death he was being tried in absentia by the Hague for his role in the murder of Hariri, a popular and reformist leader who was instrumental in ending Lebanon's 15 year civil war.