Hezbollah will stay involved in Syria war – Nasrallah


Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah will stay involved in the Syrian conflict, after having helped the regime win back control of the key town of Qusayr, its leader Hassan Nasrallah said Friday.Syrian conflict ongoing after two years (picture: Reuters)

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday vowed “victory” in Syria, where militants of his powerful Lebanese Shiite movement are fighting alongside regular troops against rebels trying to topple the regime.

“I say to all the honourable people, to the mujahedeen, to the heroes: I have always promised you a victory and now I pledge to you a new one” in Syria, he said at a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of Israel’s military withdrawal from Lebanon.

Hassan Nasrallah also claimed that his group would stay in the Syrian war “to the end of the road” and bring victory to its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Hassan Nasrallah, head of the militant Shi’ite Muslim group, said in a televised speech on Saturday Syria and Lebanon were under threat from radical Sunni Islamists.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah would always stand by its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, and his regime, stressing that its own interests were at stake.

“We will continue to the end of the road, we accept this responsibility and will accept all sacrifices and expected consequences of this position,” he said, in a video link of a speech from an an undisclosed location delivered live on a huge screen.

“We are idiots if we do not act,” said Nasrallah who avoids appearing in public for fear of being assassinated by Israel.

“We will be the ones who bring it victory, God willing,” he added.

The intervention of hundreds of Hezbollah fighters has given Assad the upper hand in Qusayr, a strategic central town in Syria across the border with Lebanon, that had been in rebel hands.

Syrian forces launched an assault on Qusayr on Sunday but are still meeting with fierce resistance from the rebels, as the town provides an important supply line for arms and volunteers from nearby Lebanon.

Qusayr is a key prize for Assad’s forces because of its strategic location between Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, the Alawite heartland of the embattled president’s regime.Nasrallah ruled out any alliance with the mostly Sunni Muslim rebels battling the Syrian regime.

“Hezbollah cannot be in the same trench as the United States, Israel, the takfiris (radical Muslims)… who disembowel, behead and desecrate tombs,” he said of reports that rebels had vandalised the shrine of a venerated Shiite saint.

He also downplayed a proposal by France for the European Union to include Hezbollah’s militia on a blacklist of terrorist groups.

“We have been on the list of terrorist organisations for a long time, and that is just ink on paper and changes nothing. You can boil your list and drink it.”

Hezbollah is already blacklisted by Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and the United States. 

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