Women under 'Raze Tel Aviv' sign, Lebanon 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BEIRUT - The leader of Lebanese movement Hezbollah
said on Saturday his group would stay in the Syrian war "to the end of the road"
and bring victory to its ally President Bashar Assad.
Nasrallah, head of the militant Shi'ite Muslim group, said in a televised speech
that Syria and Lebanon were facing a threat from radical Sunni Islamists, which
he argued was a plot devised by the United States and its allies to serve
Israel's interests in the region.
"We will not rely on anyone ... like
all the battles before this one: We will be its people, its men, and we will be
the ones who bring it victory," he said, speaking from an undisclosed
"We will continue to the end of the road, we accept this
responsibility and will accept all sacrifices and expected consequences of this
position," he said in the televised footage, which showed thousands of cheering
people watching him on big screens in the Lebanese town of
Assad comes from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of
Shi'ite Islam. He has been bankrolled by regional Shi'ite power Iran and now
increasingly by Hezbollah, Tehran's Lebanese proxy which was founded as a
resistance movement to Israel.
Violence from the Syrian conflict, which
began as a peaceful protest movement but descended into civil war, has
increasingly spilled over into Lebanon, particularly in the northern city of
Hezbollah's participation in a battle at the town of Qusair on
the Syrian-Lebanese border risks dragging Lebanon into a conflict that has
increasingly become overshadowed by Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian
Nasrallah for the first time confirmed that his combatants were
actively fighting in Syria, and said they had been there for several months. He
said Hezbollah was not acting out of sectarian motives but to defend Lebanon
from radical groups.
"Syria is no longer a place where there is a popular
revolution against a political regime, rather it has become a place for imposing
a political plan led by America and the West, and its tools in the region," he
said in a speech to mark the 13th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from
Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general said on Saturday: “We help anyone willing to provide resistance against Israel, and we have the power to deal with any folly by the Zionist regime,” according to semi-official Iranian news site Mehr News Agency.
In an interview with Al-Mayadeen, Sheikh Naim Qassim, said: “Our position on Syria is based on righteous demand, and anyone who is with resistance movement we'll be supporter of him as well.”
According to Mehr, Qassim commented on recent efforts of European countries to include Hezbollah on the list of terrorist groups, saying that "the defeated and frustrated [West] has described Hezbollah as the ‘Party of Satan’.”