Nasrallah addresses supporters on Al-Quds Day 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel will be wiped out in the next war with Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah warned on Friday in an interview with Al-Manar TV on the 13th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War.
“Any war will be bigger than the 2006 war for Israel and it will put it on the brink of extinction,” the group’s leader told the Hezbollah TV network.
Nasrallah said there will be “surprises on the ground, in the air and at sea” in the next war between the two enemies.
“We have game-changing offensive weapons, along with human capabilities represented by the Radwan Force and al-Abbas Brigades [elite forces],” he said. “Our weapons have been developed in both quality and quantity. We have precision missiles and drones. The 70-kilometer Israeli coast starting from Netanya and ending at Ashdod is under the fire of the resistance.”
Pulling out a map of Israel, Nasrallah pointed to strategic targets that he said Hezbollah could hit, including Ben-Gurion Airport, arms depots, petrochemical and water desalination plants, Tel Aviv and the Ashdod Port.
He also claimed that the group could hit Eilat on the Red Sea, adding that Hezbollah fighters are “well-prepared for the invasion of the Galilee” and that the group’s leadership “has prepared several scenarios for such a move.”
Israel’s military has repeatedly warned that the Lebanese government is responsible for the digging of cross-border attack tunnels, which it says were part of a Hezbollah plan to attack communities in northern Israel.
The military believes that the attack tunnels were built as a classified component in Hezbollah’s “Conquer the Galilee” plan that would have allowed the group’s elite Radwan fighters to infiltrate into Israel on land, fire short-range rocket and mortar fire and allow other Radwan fighters to infiltrate into communities via the tunnels, cut areas off from main roads and kill as many civilians and troops as possible.
Thousands of rockets are expected to be launched toward the Jewish state by the Iranian-backed Shi’ite army within the first couple of hours of the conflict.
Nasrallah also admitted that the group had decreased the number of its fighters supporting the regime of President Bashar Assad in neighboring Syria.
“The Syrian Army has greatly recovered and has found that today it does not need us,” he said. “We are present in every area that we used to be. We are still there, but we don’t need to be there in large numbers as long as there is no practical need. If there was a need to return, all those who were there would go back.”
According to Nasrallah, Israeli strikes in Syria are “risky” for the Jewish state and won’t expel Iran from the country.
Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for Jerusalem.
In an effort to prevent sophisticated weaponry from reaching Hezbollah, Israel frequently carries out airstrikes against Iran and its allies in Syria. In January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has a set policy of preventing Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.
Touching on the tension between Washington and Tehran, Nasrallah warned, “Iran is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force.”
“A threat to destroy Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot deter the US from waging a war on Iran, but rather the threat to attack its forces in the region and Israel,” he said. “When the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will reconsider. The region will burn in the event of a war on Iran.”
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