Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Hasan Shaaban)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Israel fears another war with the Lebanese Shi’ite group, and that the United States has imposed sanctions against it because the US and Israel “failed in their military campaigns.”
“What the Zion-American enemy failed to obtain during the military campaigns, it wants to achieve through imposing sanctions on the Syrian people, besieging the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, causing starvation in Yemen, and blacklisting Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said during a televised addressed marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Resistance Support Association, an organization that raises funds for the group.
Nasrallah pointed to the US military’s deployment of its advanced THAAD missile defense system in Israel this past week for joint exercises, as proof of Israel’s inability to protect itself from Hezbollah’s missile arsenal in a future war between the two foes.
“Israel is scared
of a new war,” he said. “Every day you hear that Israel is not prepared for war in one way or another, and this week you saw Israel began using the American THAAD system. The Israelis do not believe in their defense systems and are afraid, and that is why they have set up US-made defense systems. The Israeli Army is afraid of war against us, and they know why. We’ll break them on the battlefield. No advanced missile defense systems will help.”
It is believed that Nasrallah has lived for several years in a secure bunker in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiya as a precaution against assassination attempts. In mid-February, he said the group’s power had been increasing “daily,” even under “unfavorable conditions,” and that it is more powerful now than it was 20 years ago.
Speaking during a ceremony to mark “Martyrs Remembrance Day,” Nasrallah said the “resistance gained its strength and power, and achieved victories in bad circumstances imposed by the US, Israel, and their allies in the region, the takifiris [apostates], Saudi alignment, and the [United Arab] Emirates.”
The Hezbollah leader spoke for over an hour. In his third speech in several weeks after months of silence, Nasrallah said there were between “35-40 resistance axes around the world” with people who are ready to sacrifice themselves for Hezbollah.
Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war – the Second Lebanon War – in 2006. Since then, the terrorist organization has morphed from a guerrilla group into an army with a set hierarchy and procedures. With the help of Iran, it has rebuilt its arsenal since 2006, and has hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets, and several thousand more missiles that can reach deeper into Israel.
Israel’s air defenses currently include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets; the Arrow system, which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere; and the David’s Sling missile defense system, which is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, and cruise missiles fired at ranges of 40-300 km. (25-186 miles).
The IDF announced last week that the US deployed its THAAD
anti-ballistic missile defense system in Israel as part of a month-long joint drill
Lockheed-Martin built the THAAD system, which is considered one of the world’s most advanced systems of its kind. During the dril, it will be added to the existing Israeli air-defense systems which defend against long-range ballistic missiles, giving the IDF an “opportunity to practice its integration in the IAF air defense array.”
Washington and Israel have signed an agreement that commits the US to assisting Israel with missile defense in times of war.
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