Rice is thrown as Hezbollah members carry the coffin of top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hezbollah asked western journalists not to report that Israel was behind the assassination of Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah's military chief, a prominent French journalist has alleged.
Georges Malbrunot, the Middle East reporter for the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, wrote a series of comments on his Twitter page on Saturday, regarding the assassination of Hezbollah's top commander.
"Hezbollah asked the journalists who asked for its reaction to Baddredine's liquidation to avoid saying that Israel is involved in the attack," Malbrunot wrote.
"On Friday, I spoke with a diplomat in the Levant who told me that the anti-Assad Syrian armed groups do not have the ability to produce such a sophisticated operation even if Israel could resort to use the services of one of these groups," the French reporter added.
According to Malbrunot, the foreign diplomat told him that "It could be little doubt that the assassination of Badreddine is the continuation of the Israeli liquidations of Hezbollah's senior leaders."
A statement released by Hezbollah on Friday emphasized that Badreddine was assassinated on Thursday night near Damascus airport by an artillery shell fired by a Syrian rebel group.
Although Hezbollah did not publicly accuse Israel of his assassination, during the burial ceremony of Baddreddine on Friday, senior leaders in the organization voiced anti-Israel statements, naming the Syrian "heretic" rebel groups as the "spearhead of the American-Zionist project in the Middle East."
The Iranian news agency Fars reported on Monday that General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, payed a condolence visit to Baddredinne's family in Beirut on Sunday, following which he visited Baddreddine's grave.