Hezbollah chief claims Assad's friends will keep him safe
Hasan Nasrallah has hinted that Hezbollah, as well as Russia and Iran, may try and save the day for Assad in Syria
In a live televised address to supporters, the General Secretary of Lebanese terror group Hezbollah has given the strongest hint yet that his organisation is assisting in keeping Bashar Assad in power in Syria.
In a statement to Al Manar TV, the Hezbollah leader proclaimed that "Syria has real friends in the region and in the world who will not allow Syria to fall into the hands of America or Israel or the Takfiris," referring to a brand of Sunni Islamism.
Hezbollah has never officially admitted to sending its fighters to the Syrian battlefield, but the number of Hezbollah members returning dead or wounded from Syria has increased in recent months, and the group is thought to have lost around 180 Hezbollah men in operations obliquely described by its spokesmen as "jihadi duties."
In his speech yesterday, Nasrallah alluded to the main motivations for his group to involve itself in the Syrian conflict. The first - as expressed by his references to America, Israel and Sunni Muslim powers, indicate the Hezbollah's strategic concerns about the "day after", should the Ba'athist regime in Damascus fall.
He hinted that Syria’s allies Iran, Russia and “resistance groups” could intervene militarily to prevent the downfall of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“We tell you that you [rebels] are unable to topple the regime through military means. After two years and based on facts in the field ... you have no ability to do so,” the Hezbollah chief said.
“This is the case when you are now only fighting the Syrian army and the popular forces loyal to the [government],” he added. “Up to this moment there are no Iranian forces in Syria.”
Nasrallah, who commands Lebanon’s largest military force, asked: “What if dangerous developments occur, forcing states or resistance groups to step in the field in Syria?”
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