Hezbollah supporters carry the coffin of Mustafa Badreddine during his funeral procession in Ghobeiri, Friday, May 13, 2016. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Hezbollah vowed Friday to keep fighting Israel and Syria-based militant factions, hours after the party announced that its top military commander has been killed in a blast at a base near Damascus airport, in a major blow to the Iranian-backed group that has been heavily involved in the 5-year-old war in Syria.Fingers are pointed at Israel, which has been blamed by Hezbollah for the killing of several party commanders in Syria and Lebanon, and Daesh (ISIS) and Nusra Front militants, who have targeted Hezbollah officials and areas in Lebanon in retaliation for the party's involvement in the war in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad's forces.Reflecting on the life of Badreddine, Qassem said "Israel and the takfiris suffered heavy blows" as a result of the Hezbollah commander's actions. He vowed that Hezbollah would continue down Badreddine's "path". The U.S. government believed Badreddine was in charge of Hezbollah's military operations in Syria.Badreddine, 55, is the most senior Hezbollah official killed since 2008 when his brother-in-law, long-serving military commander Imad Mughniyeh, was blown up by a bomb planted in his car in Damascus that Hezbollah blamed on Israel.
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