Saturday, January 26, 2019

Hezbollah Chief Nasrallah Warns Future Response To Syria Strikes

The chief of the Hezbollah terror group on Saturday warned it could respond to Israeli airstrikes in Syria targeting mainly Iranian positions and what Israel says are weapons shipments.
Hassan Nasrallah said the alliance between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, Iran and his Lebanese Hezbollah movement could end its policy of not responding to the Israeli strikes.
“At any moment the Syrian leadership and the axis of resistance can take a decision to deal with the Israeli aggression in a different manner,” Nasrallah said in a wide-ranging interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV network.

Addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly, Nasrallah warned that a misstep could lead to a wider conflict.
“Be cautious not to exaggerate what you are doing in Syria. Miscalculation could drag the region into a war or a major confrontation,” he said.
Jerusalem has recently begun to open up about its years-long campaign in Syria, a move some have said may push Iran, Hezbollah or Syria into responding.

Most airstrikes have passed with no retaliation. Last week, Iran fired a missile from Syria at Israel following a rare daytime strike near Damascus. It was intercepted by an Iron Dome air defense battery.

Israel has warned it will continue to target positions in Syria held by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
Israel has said Hezbollah possesses a small number of precision-guided missiles, and is seeking thousands for use in a future war, a threat the Jewish state is determined to prevent.
Asked if Hezbollah had precision missiles, he answered “Of course, we possess a sufficient number of precision missiles.”

Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Hezbollah terror group, on Saturday dismissed Israel’s operation to uncover and destroy cross-border attack tunnels as indicative of an intelligence failure, and said the group’s plans for an invasion of the Galilee remained intact.
Breaking months of silence, and speaking for the first time since Israel launched Operation Northern Shield in early December to uncover and destroy the tunnels dug under its border, Nasrallah claimed during an interview with the pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen TV that “some of the tunnels are from before Resolution 1701 and the Second Lebanon War.”
UN Resolution 1701 ended the 2006 conflict and called for all armed groups in Lebanon besides the country’s military to remain north of the Litani River. Israel has for years claimed that Hezbollah has been violating the resolution by conducting military activities along the border.

“The Israelis discovered a number of tunnels after many years, and it’s not a surprise. The surprise is that these tunnels, they took some time to find,” Nasrallah said on the al-Mayadeen channel.
“One of the tunnels discovered in recent weeks is 13 or 14 years old,” said a smiling Nasrallah. The Israeli operation brought to light the “failure” of the country’s intelligence services, he added.
Nasrallah’s claim on when work began on some of the tunnels appeared to line up with a Channel 13 report earlier this month. Israel has said it was aware of Hezbollah’s tunnel operations for several years.
He went on to claim that the tunnels were hardly central to Hezbollah’s attack plan in a future war, and that Israeli leaders had inflated their importance “to leave the [army] with a significant achievement” to boast of.
He confirmed Israeli leaders’ accusations that “Part of our plan for the next war is to enter the Galilee, a part of our plan we are capable of, God willing. The important thing is that we have this capability and we have had it for years.”

But, he claimed, “The uncovering of the tunnels does not affect by 10 percent our plans to take over the Galilee. If we decide to do it — even if they’ve destroyed the tunnels — can’t we rebuild them?” He also suggested there may be attack tunnels on the Israeli-Lebanese border which Israel has not yet discovered.

“To enter the Galilee, you do not need tunnels,” he said. “Yes, tunnels can be a helping factor in entering the Galilee, in a limited and partial manner. But an operation of that degree, if it were decided for it to happen one day, would require all of the borders, valleys, hills.”

He added that “In any war that happens, all of occupied Palestine will be a war and battlefield.”

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