Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed on Thursday that the balance of power between the Lebanese Shi’ite terror group and Israel has “changed,” and that the group has accurate missiles which would be used in the next conflict.
“All your attempts to prevent Hezbollah from possessing accurate missiles are foiled,” Nasrallah said during a speech via video to Beirut’s Dahiyeh suburb to mark the Muslim holiday Ashura. “We have accurate missiles that if used in any future war will change the entire equation.”
“No matter what you do to cut the route, the matter is over and the resistance possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities,” he said.
Israel has reiterated its view several times on any transfer of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah
as a “red line” and will work to prevent any such movement.
Israel is also concerned that Iran is not only trying to consolidate its grip in Syria where it could establish a forward base to attack Israel, but that it is trying to build an advanced weapons factories in Syria and Lebanon to manufacture GPS-guided missiles which could hit targets with greater accuracy.
Israel rarely comments on foreign reports of military activity in Syria, but has publicly admitted to having struck more than 200 targets in Syria over the past year and a half. According to the IDF, the strikes which mainly targeted advanced weapons systems and infrastructure belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, were aimed at preventing Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
On Tuesday, Israel made a rare admission that it struck a Syrian military facility in the coastal province of Latakia, which was preparing to transfer Iranian systems to produce accurate missiles for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Nasrallah said Israel has attacked Syria to prevent its army from achieving ballistic capabilities that will change the balance of deterrence between the two countries.
“Israel lies when it says that the purpose of the attack was weapons intended for Hezbollah. The Israeli aggression in Syria is intolerable and must be stopped immediately,” he said, adding that the terrorist group would remain in Syria until further notice.
“The quietness of the fronts and less number of threats... will naturally affect the current numbers (of Hezbollah fighters),” he said. “No one can force us out of Syria. We will stay there until further notice.”
According to the US State Department, Iranian and Shi’ite terrorist groups like Hezbollah have emerged emboldened and with valuable battlefield experience from the war in Syria. The State Department’s annual survey of global terrorism said that Tehran and the terrorist groups are seeking to leverage that expertise in other countries.
Iran was once again named as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with Iran-linked fundraising networks uncovered in West Africa, as well as weapons caches found in South America and operational activity in Europe.
Iran’s “terrorist affiliates and proxies,” have “demonstrated a near-global terrorist reach,” the report read, pointing to violence in countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
“Iran uses terrorism as a tool of its state craft, it has no reservations about using that tool on any continent,” said Ambassador Nathan Sales, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism.
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