Nasrallah: opposition cannot defeat Syrian army

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Syrian opposition is not militarily capable of defeating the Syrian army, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech yesterday.

"The fight is long, and we have never encouraged a military solution, but we do say to [the armed groups] that you are not capable militarily of bringing down the regime," Nasrallah said.

"Syria's regional and international allies will not allow the fall of the Syrian regime at the hands of America, Israel and Islamists," he added, stressing their readiness to interfere.

Giving his televised speech on al-Manar TV in Lebanon Tuesday night, Nasrallah stated that the only ones fighting the Syrian opposition are the Syrian army and their Syrian followers.

"Until now" Iran has not sent military forces into the country, Nasrallah said, implying the possibility of future intervention alongside Hezbollah's forces if the situation permits it.

He also stressed that Hezbollah will not leave Qusayr – a part of Syria spotted with many Lebanese-majority towns – exposed to any danger, but denied claims of Hezbollah fighters having died there.

"There are preparations for a large number of fighters to control that area, and it was only normal for the Syrian army to offer the appropriate aid to confront the militants," he said.

In response to the accusation of Hezbollah's intervention in Qusayr, Nasrallah asked rhetorically, "What did the Lebanese government do? Can it do anything? Is it able to send the Lebanese army into the areas in Syria where Lebanese live?"

Nasrallah also stressed the importance of fighters to defend Sayedda Zeinab's shrine, a site of holy pilgrimage for all Shia Muslims.

He added that "there are those who are protecting the area" of Sayedda Zeinab's shrine, and that "they are ready to die doing so."

"There are armed groups only a few hundred meters away from the site [of Sayedda Zeinab's shrine] in Damascus. This is a very sensitive issue because these groups have threatened that if they get a hold of the area they will destroy the shrine," he said, warning that if this happens, things will swerve out of control.

But Nasrallah warned that the high figures of Hezbollah fighters in Syria – fueled by Israel – were false, stressing that Hezbollah is ready to interfere to block any Israeli attack.

He began the speech discussing the drone that Israel had claimed was sent by Hezbollah after shooting it down, saying, "Hezbollah did not send a plane of this sort."

He pointed out that Israel has, until now, not put out any video or audio showing the plane's destruction.

"Everyone knows that Hezbollah has the courage to admit any action it carries out, especially if it targets Israel and we don't worry about accusations," Nasrallah said.

He threatened Israel and whoever supports her to not "do anything stupid in Lebanon because the Resistance…is alert, its finger is on the trigger, and has the ability to defend Lebanon, its land and its people. And it will prevail."

Meanwhile, the external Syrian National Coalition called Nasrallah’s speech a “threat.”

"The Syrians and the Lebanese hoped... that the Hezbollah leadership would stop their attacks on Homs and Damascus and take into account the gravity of the situation in the region," the SNC said in a statement published Wednesday.

"But they heard nothing but threats... and warnings against setting the region on fire and an admission of their interference in Syrian affairs," it added.



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