Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday stressed that Syria is a “real military supporter of the Resistance,” extending condolences over the death of three top Syrian officials in a blast that rocked the headquarters of National Security in Damascus.
The bombing killed Defense Minister General Daoud Rajha, Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani, head of the regime's crisis cell on the uprising, state media said.
Nasrallah described the three slain officials as “martyr leaders” and “comrades-in-arms,” in a televised speech marking the anniversary of the July 2006 war with Israel.
“We reiterate our call for preserving Syria and the only solution is accepting dialogue. As we feel the loss of today's martyrs, we extend our condolences to their families and to the Syrian leadership,” said Nasrallah.
“Daoud Rajha, Assef Shawkat and Hassan Turkmani are the Syria that supported the Resistance ... and those speaking about Syria today were with the enemy back then,” he noted.
“These martyr leaders were comrades-in-arms on the path of the conflict with the Israeli enemy and we are confident that the Arab Syrian Army, which managed to overcome the unbearable, has enough resolve to be able to go on and crush the hopes of the enemies,” Hizbullah’s leader added.
He noted that “the Americans' problem is Syria, but not any Syria.”
“The Syria of (former vice president) Abdul Halim Khaddam is not a problem, but rather the Syria of (President) Bashar Assad,” said Nasrallah.
He added that in recent years a new military strategy was implemented in Syria.
“It enabled it to become a military force that poses a threat to Israel, especially at the level of missiles and the progress of the military industry,” he added.
Highlighting the support offered by Damascus to his group and to the Palestinian group Hamas, Nasrallah said “Syria was not only a passageway for the Resistance, but also a real military supporter of the Resistance.”
“For example, the most important missiles that were falling on Haifa and central Israel were Syrian missiles offered by Syria to the Resistance,” he noted.
Nasrallah accused Washington of seeking to “destroy the Syrian army” in the wake of the July 2006 war.
“They sought after the July war to destroy the Syrian army and the U.S. took advantage of rightful demands for the Syrian people, prevented dialogue and turned Syria into a war zone because the objective is destroying and fragmenting Syria, like they did in Iraq,” Nasrallah charged.
Referring to the Damascus attack on top officials, Hizbullah’s secretary-general said “Israel has the right to be happy today because pillars of the (Syrian) army were killed and this is Israel's ambition to deprive Syria of having a strong army.”
“Let us think a bit about what's happening in Syria. (U.S. Secretary of State Hillary) Clinton came (to Egypt) to reassure the Israelis about the Egyptian stance and told the Egyptians ‘we're willing to support you if you keep the peace (treaty) with Israel,’” Nasrallah noted.
Turning to the conflict with Israel, Nasrallah reassured his supporters to be “very confident that amid all this noise there is a resistance and resistance fighters who are working night and day on the issue of the conflict with the enemy and they are not being distracted by any shouting from here or there.”
Addressing Israel, Nasrallah added: “We know that the enemy is working night and day to gather information about our rocket launchers and I call on them to draw lessons from their mistakes.”
“We know what your first strike will be and we promise you a big surprise and of course I want the Lebanese people and all the peoples to be very confident in the Resistance's capabilities and to know that in this region we have the heart and will to organize, manage, fight and eventually win,” Nasrallah went on to say.
“Our fate is not defeat and failure like most Arab rulers claim, our fate is to prevail. The same as we achieved the great victory in 2000 and 2006, we are capable of achieving a greater victory in any coming war,” he vowed.
Commenting on the latest developments in Lebanon, Hizbullah’s leader said that “the things that are weakening the Lebanese army today the most are accusing it of sectarianism and of being infiltrated by certain groups and the questioning of its patriotism and impartiality.”
“The army's officers belong to this people and they have their views, but the army has proved its patriotism and impartiality ... and it must be protected politically and morally,” Nasrallah urged.
Addressing the issue of equipping the army, Nasrallah said: “We want a strong army, but I tell the government and the national dialogue committee that to have a strong army we must first have a strong will, which means we must not fear the U.S. ambassador or the U.S. generals.”
“The (U.S.) excuse that they are not supplying weapons to the army so that they don't end up in our hands is nothing but lies, as we do not need the army's weapons,” Nasrallah added.
Hizbullah’s leader warned that “some are paying money and inciting in the media to ruin the country.”
“That's why we must abide by the silence of the strong and everyone knows that we are not weak, but we put the national interest above all else,” he added, addressing Hizbullah’s members and supporters.
Commenting on the latest criticism voiced by its ally, the Free Patriotic Movement, Nasrallah said: “We do not publicly discuss any dispute with any of the government's components or with our allies and we do not respond to our ally's criticism publicly.”
“We stress our strategic relation with everyone and we stress our respect, appreciation and alliance with (FPM leader) General Michel Aoun and the members of his movement and his supporters,” said Nasrallah.
“We stress that what we built throughout six difficult years cannot be undermined by a dispute or demands over a social issue,” he added, referring to the row over EDL contract workers.
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