Israel kills top terror leader who was fighting in Syria

by Gregory Tomlin, |
An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jet. | REUTERS/Amir Cohen

BEIRUT (Christian Examiner) – The Israeli Air Force has conducted a strike in war torn Syria and eliminated Hezbollah's top military commander, the Jerusalem Post has reported.

Mustafa Amine Badreddine was reportedly killed early Friday morning by the IAF strike. The Lebanon-based terror group's military operations chief was in Syria, organizing the Shiite group's assistance of President Bashaar al-Assad's forces against the Free Syrian Army (backed by the U.S.), the al-Nusra Front (backed by al-Qaeda) and ISIS.

A statement from the leaders of Hezbollah said on Al-Manar television in Beirut that Badreddine had expected to die as a martyr.

"He said a few months ago, 'I will not come back from Syria, unless a martyr or carrying the flag of victory.' He is the top commander Mustafa Badreddine. And he came back today as a martyr," Hezbollah leaders said.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Badreddine had a reputation for ruthlessness. He was sentenced to death in Kuwait in 1984 for his part in several bombings there. In a stroke of luck for the terrorist, he was released from jail when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded the oil-rich state in 1990.

In 2011, it is alleged he took part in the very public assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiz Hariri.

He was gifted at spycraft, as well. Lebanese authorities know Badreddine drifted in and out of Lebanon without ever being officially cleared for arrival or departure. He also had no bank accounts but was well supplied.

In December 2015, Israel struck at another Lebanese Hezbollah commander. Samir Kuntar was killed in Damascus by Israeli rockets. Samir spent 29 years in an Israeli prison for stabbing Israeli Jews, before he was released and went back to his terrorist ways.