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Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Nasrallah: Hezbollah fighting in Syria to prevent Zionist, US hegemony
Hezbollah leader says group rejects pundits who believe events in region connected to the fulfillment of Shi'ite Islam prophecy.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said his Lebanese organization's involvement in the Syrian civil war is intended to deter US and Zionist hegemony in the region.

Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar quoted Nasrallah as rejecting claims that the events in the region are tied to the coming of the Imam Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of humankind.  According to Shi'ite Islam, the Mahdi is the “hidden Imam”, who has already been born and is in “occultation”, hidden from the world until he returns alongside Jesus Christ to save humanity and bring about justice. In Twelver Shi'ite Islam, the main branch of Islam practiced in Iran, the Mahdi will establish an Islamic State.

"We do not need a religious plea to fight in Syria. We do not fight in order to match the signs that are being circulated as a prelude to Reappearance," al-Manar quoted him as saying.

Nasarallah said Hezbollah's activities in Syria are meant to ensure that Islamic State leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi will not repeat in Lebanon the group's conquests in Iraq.

Nasrallah further warned that linking the events to the reappearance of the Imam "has serious cultural and intellectual dangers which only lead to delusion, and the evidences that some authors are talking about in this context are based on suspicions and probabilities."

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.

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