Hezbollah’s chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Saturday praised President Bashar Assad, describing him as the backbone of the resistance, and reiterated that his party would prevent the fall of the regime in Damascus.
“Syria is the backbone of the resistance and we will not sit with our hands crossed,” Nasrallah said at a televised speech.during a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of Israel’s May, 2000 military withdrawal from Lebanon.
“I say to all the honorable 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
Nasrallah, who only recently threatened his party would intervene militarily to prevent the fall of Assad, also argued that the Syrian rebel forces, posed a grave danger to Lebanon and the religious diversity it enjoyed.
“If Syria falls into the hand of America, Israel and takfiris, the resistance (Hezbollah) will be besieged and Israel will enter Lebanon and impose its will,” Nasrallah said. The term “Takfiri Islamists” refers to an ideology that urges Sunni Muslims to kill anyone they consider an infidel.
“If Syria falls in the hands of America, Israel and the takfiris, the people of our region will go into a dark period,” he said. “If Syria falls, Palestine will be lost.”
“We entered a new phase a few weeks ago: the phase of fortifying the resistance and protecting its backbone,” he said.
He also justified his party’s intervention in Syria, arguing the toppling of Assad would render his group vulnerable and open to being targeted by its enemies Israel and the United States.
Syria, along with Iran, has been the main backer of Hezbollah and much of the group’s arsenal consisting of tens of thousands of rockets is believed to have come through or from Syria. Iran and Hezbollah are predominantly Shia, while Assad’s Alawite sect is a distant offshoot of Shia Islam.
In past weeks, Syrian rebels in the besieged town of Qusair have been under heavy bombardment from Hezbollah combatants. The town is close to the Lebanese border, a conduit for both the government and rebels to get weapons. Dozens of Hezbollah militants are said to have been killed fighting alongside Syrian troops in Qusair since May 19, when government forces launched an offensive to recapture the rebel-held town.
As always, we wish both sides in the conflict many more years of success in their endeavors.