Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told supporters in Beirut’s suburbs Thursday, “We won’t bargain our presence in Lebanon, Syria and the axis of resistance for some ministerial portfolios” to form a new Lebanese government.
He said he is defending Syrian President Bassar al-Assad because he backs the “resistance” against Israel.
Nasrallah appeared in public, a rare occurrence, instead of beaming his message through video links. He spoke in a Beirut suburb as hundreds of thousands of people were celebrating a Shi’ite Muslim festival.
Hezbollah has helped Assad push back the opposition in the civil war but has paid a price, with hundreds of casualties and unprecedented criticism for dragging Lebanon, already dominated by pro-Syrian elements, deeper into the conflict.
The Lebanese government was dissolved seven months ago, and the civil war already has spilled over into the country, raising fears of a repeat of the former 15-year-old civil war in Lebanon.