- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

BEIRUT (AP) - The Lebanese militant Hezbollah group has credited its slain top military commander for the recent advances made by Syrian government forces.

Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah says the territorial gains around Damascus are the legacy of Mustafa Badreddine. The Hezbollah commander was killed a week ago near the Damascus airport in what the group says was rebel shelling.

Nasrallah speech to supporters was broadcast on his group’s Al-Manar TV channel on Friday.

Nasrallah says Badreddine had personally planned Damascus’ operation, which was carried out after his death and which has captured strategic ground in the Ghouta suburb. The Syrian forces’ gains threaten to destabilize a years-long stalemate around Damascus.

Hezbollah has lost over 1,000 members and several top commanders who fought alongside government forces in Syria’s civil war.


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