'Hezbollah will hit Israel if Syria attacked'

Hezbollah is prepared to attack should Western powers "interfere" in Syrian affairs, Lebanese official says.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 5, 2012 19:53
1 minute read.
Lebanon's Hezbollah militants chant slogans

Hezbollah militants chant 260. (photo credit: REUTERS/Sharif Karim)

 
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Hezbollah is prepared to attack Israel if Western powers interfere in Syria against the regime in Damascus, a Lebanese Hezbollah official said Sunday according to the Palestinian News Network.

The unnamed official said Hezbollah was prepared if Western powers intervened in Syria in order to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad's crackdown on anti-government protesters, even if the "price for it" is to engage the IDF in battle in order to divert attention away from the Syrian arena.

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According to the report, Hezbollah - which is believed to have a stockpile of over 30,000 missiles - believes that a war in the Middle East may prevent the fall of Assad.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm this report.

The Shi'ite group supports a compromise based on reforms and "easing the crisis" between anti-government forces and the Syrian regime, according to the official. While Assad himself has said his government will push reforms, and has released thousands of detainees arrested since the start of the 11-month conflict, the violence in Syria has not dwindled.

Last week, over 200 people were killed in an overnight military assault on the restive city of Homs. At least 18 people were gunned down by Syrian troops on Sunday according to activists, and nine Syrian troops were killed in clashes with rebels in the northwestern Idlib province bordering Turkey.

Israel has said that Hezbollah along with Iran are providing weapons to their ally Syria to help suppress Syrian opposition activists calling for Assad's ouster, in a conflict that has resulted in the deaths of more than 6,000 Syrians.

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“The radical axis is trying to retain its power and as time passes, Iran and Hezbollah increase their efforts to help the Assad regime survive by providing knowledge, weaponry and other capabilities,” head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said in January.

Hezbollah has been one of the few voices in the Arab world making statements in support of Assad and the Syrian regime.

Hamas - another Iran proxy in the region - quietly backed away from vocalizing support for the Assad regime, and many of the group's officials have left their political bureau in Damascus for neighboring countries.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report

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