Hizbullah: We'll take fight to Israel's backyard

Group official says in next war, group will be on the offensive, IDF drill proved Israel unprepared.

Hizbullah march 224.88 (photo credit: )
Hizbullah march 224.88
(photo credit: )
The victims of the next Lebanon war will lie in Israel's "backyard," a top Hizbullah official threatened during an interview with a Syrian newspaper Sunday. "Their confusion will be greater than we saw in the previous war, because they will see that the holy warriors will confront them not only in south Lebanon, as they have done previously, but in their houses and their settlements," Al-Hakika quoted the unnamed official as saying. The report, also published by the Iranian news agency Fars on Sunday, went on to quote the official as saying that if war breaks out with Israel again, Hizbullah fighters will not "be satisfied" with a war of defense. "The coming war, in the event that it occurs, will be an offensive war from our side," he said. "I don't mean that we will initiate the war," stressed the Hizbullah official, "but any war that they launch in the future will turn into what regular armies call 'an offensive war.' They will see the holy warriors behind their lines and not just opposite them, and the territorial confrontations will be, for the first time since 1948, inside Palestine itself." An additional threat was made by the Hizbullah official in charge of southern Lebanon, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk. "The Lebanon resistance succeeded in developing its military powers in confrontation with Israel," he said. According to Kaouk, Hizbullah's military will continue to strengthen despite infighting and various crises in Lebanon. Regarding last week's IDF drill, Kaouk said that "the Israeli exercise exposed many holes and proved its unpreparedness for war on the military front, and the unreadiness of the Israeli home front to deal with the results of the war." He also emphasized that "the failure of the exercise is cause for celebration by the resistance and the resisting nation." The unnamed Hizbullah official also revealed that Lebanese parliamentarians had transferred the body of slain Hizbullah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh from Syria to Lebanon in accordance with the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah's instructions. He said that only when the body reached Beirut did Nasrallah inform Syrian President Bashar Assad of the assassination. The official paid tribute to Mughniyeh and recounted the events that followed his death. "Mughniyeh was one of the first people to come from the center of Iranian culture to the village of Sufa in Damascus. There, he was with a group of Hizbullah-affiliated parliamentarians. "After the blast, several members of the group went out to the street to see what had happened. One of them knew immediately that Mughniyeh had been killed in the blast. He phoned Nasrallah and informed him. The Hizbullah chief then ordered him to immediately take the body to Beirut without drawing the attention of Syrian Intelligence - and that is exactly what happened." The official continued, "They put Mughniyeh's body in the car of one of the parliamentarians and he was immediately taken to Lebanon without any Syrian official seeing them, perhaps except for the regular police." He went on to say that when Nasrallah informed Assad of the assassination, the Syrian president asked him to keep it quiet. "However," said the official, "Nasrallah said 'We don't hide our martyrs, no matter what their roles or ranks are. We are proud of them.'" He claimed that one of the reasons for Assad's request was the embarrassment the revelation was likely to cause Syria after it had succeeded in protecting the terror chief, who had "led the war against Israel" but who, nonetheless, was killed in "a simple way" in the Syrian capital. Regarding the effects of the assassination on Hizbullah, the official said that "it is true that Mughniyeh's death is considered one of the greatest losses of the resistance, and the loss to the Hizbullah ranks and its supporters causes great sadness. But Hizbullah is not just one man, but an institution in the fullest sense of the word." He said that before his death, Mughniyeh was working with his associates on a process of learning the lessons of the Second Lebanon War.