Nasrallah Stands by Arslan, Says U.S. Seeking 'Communication' with Hizbullah
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday called for pacification in connection with the deadly Qabrshmoun incident but stressed that his party “stands by its ally” MP Talal Arslan.
“From the very first moments after the Qabrshmoun incident, we started our contacts to pacify the situation,” Nasrallah revealed in an interview on al-Manar television.
“Stability in Lebanon is in our interest,” Nasrallah added, describing claims that Hizbullah “wants to blow up the Druze arena” as “immoral.”
“We call for pacification but we stand by our ally… Our ally was aggrieved and his men were killed,” he said, referring to Arslan and the slain bodyguards of State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib.
Describing Arslan’s call for referring the incident to the Judicial Council as “logical,” Nasrallah said “the decision is in our ally's hand and we stand by him.”
He also described Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s decision to postpone the latest cabinet session as “wise.”
“We are against the suspension of the cabinet,” he said.
As for the relation with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, Nasrallah said: “We did not err against Jumblat; he is the one who started the problem with us when he spoke about the weapons.”
Separately, Nasrallah revealed that the Trump administration is seeking “channels of communications” with Hizbullah through mediators.
Turning to Syria, Nasrallah confirmed that Hizbullah has decreased the number of fighters supporting the Damascus regime.
"We are present in every area that we used to be. We are still there, but we don't need to be there in large numbers as long as there is no practical need," he said.
The head of the Iran-backed group, which has been fighting in Syria since 2013, did no quantify the extent of the reduction.
Backed by Russia and Iran, the Damascus government has taken back large swathes of territory from rebels and jihadists since 2015, and now controls around 60 percent of the country.
Nasrallah said none of his fighters were currently involved in fighting in Syria's northwestern region of Idlib, where regime and Russian forces have increased deadly bombardment on a jihadist-run bastion since late April.
Nasrallah spoke after Washington announced fresh sanctions Tuesday against Hizbullah, targeting elected officials from the movement for the first time.
"All dealings with the Syria file have nothing to do with the sanctions or the financial austerity," he said.
Nasrallah also warned that U.S. ally Israel would not remain intact if a war broke out between the United States and Iran.
"Iran is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force," he said.
His remarks came after weeks of increasing tensions between the United States and Iran as U.S. President Donald Trump steps up his war of words with the Islamic Republic.
"When the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will reconsider," Nasrallah said.
"Our collective responsibility in the region is to work towards preventing an American war on Iran," he said.
He also warned that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had no interest in a conflict erupting.
12 July 2019, 23:39
Nasrallah: The decision is in our ally's hand and we stand by him.
12 July 2019, 23:38
Nasrallah: The postponement of the cabinet session was a wise decision.
12 July 2019, 23:38
Nasrallah: The call for referring the incident to the Judicial Council is logical.
12 July 2019, 23:37
Nasrallah: We are against the suspension of the cabinet.
12 July 2019, 23:36
Nasrallah: We call for pacification but we stand by our ally.
12 July 2019, 23:35
Nasrallah: Claims that Hizbullah wants to blow up the Druze arena are immoral.
12 July 2019, 23:34
Nasrallah on Arslan: Our ally was aggrieved and his men were killed.
12 July 2019, 23:34
Nasrallah: Stability in Lebanon is in our interest.
12 July 2019, 23:33
Nasrallah: From the very first moments after the Qabrshmoun incident, we started our contacts to pacify the situation.
12 July 2019, 23:20
Nasrallah: The Trump administration is seeking channels of communication with Hizbullah.
12 July 2019, 23:18
Nasrallah: A threat to destroy Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot deter the U.S. from waging a war on Iran, but rather the threat to attack its forces in the region and Israel.
12 July 2019, 23:15
Nasrallah: Iran will bomb Israel in the event of a war in the region.
12 July 2019, 23:14
Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia and Israel will pay the heaviest price, seeing as the UAE has started to pacify its stance.
12 July 2019, 23:13
Nasrallah: The region will burn in the event of a war on Iran.
12 July 2019, 23:10
Nasrallah: If the UAE and Saudi Arabia get destroyed, is that in the interest of their people and leaders?
12 July 2019, 23:08
Nasrallah: The UAE will not remain safe in the event of a war on Iran.
12 July 2019, 23:07
Nasrallah: No one will be able to dissociate themselves from a war against Iran in the region.
12 July 2019, 22:46
Nasrallah: The Iranians sent a message via a third nation on the day the drone was downed, saying they would retaliate against U.S. targets in the event of a U.S. strike.
12 July 2019, 22:42
Nasrallah on Iran-U.S. tensions: Strikes and counter-strikes might happen, but the two parties will seek to contain the situation.
12 July 2019, 22:41
Nasrallah: Trump is betting on the economic file.
12 July 2019, 22:39
Nasrallah: I strongly rule out that America might launch a war on Iran.
12 July 2019, 22:38
Nasrallah: Iran will not start a war against anyone.
12 July 2019, 22:34
Nasrallah: Hizbullah is not the leader of the battle in Syria and neither is Iran.
12 July 2019, 22:30
Nasrallah: Israel's strikes will not lead to expelling Iran from Syria and they are risky for Israel. Iran will not withdraw from Syria.
12 July 2019, 22:28
Nasrallah: The latest Israeli strike on Syria was not against important targets.
12 July 2019, 22:23
Nasrallah said the time has not come for Hizbullah's full withdrawal from Syria.
12 July 2019, 22:21
Nasrallah: We have redeployed and downsized our forces in Syria due to the improved security situation.
12 July 2019, 21:52
Nasrallah: No one can impose naturalization on Lebanon if there is Lebanese consensus against it.
12 July 2019, 21:40
Nasrallah: We are confident that the "deal of the century" will fail.
12 July 2019, 21:38
Nasrallah: I have a big hope that I will personally pray in Jerusalem.
12 July 2019, 21:32
Nasrallah: I'm confident that we can achieve victory in any coming confrontation.
12 July 2019, 21:29
Nasrallah: Any war will be bigger than the 2006 war for Israel and it will put it on the brink of extinction.
12 July 2019, 21:28
Nasrallah: I rule out an Israeli war on Lebanon because of the force of deterrence.
12 July 2019, 21:24
Nasrallah: We will not target southern Israel during any war, but rather the population-dense northern coast.
12 July 2019, 21:19
Nasrallah: The resistance can target entire Israel with its firepower.
12 July 2019, 21:16
Nasrallah: The talk about returning Lebanon to the stone age underestimates Lebanon's capabilities.
12 July 2019, 21:16
Nasrallah: The resistance now is stronger than ever in terms of its capability to target the enemy’s domestic front.
12 July 2019, 21:11
Nasrallah in response to a question: Who said that we don’t have anti-aircraft missiles and who said that we do? We follow the policy of constructive ambiguity in this regard.
12 July 2019, 21:09
Nasrallah: The resistance is stronger than ever despite the sanctions and it improved its capabilities greatly over the past 13 years, and this has been acknowledged by the Israelis.
12 July 2019, 21:07
Nasrallah: We have an infantry force that possesses special capabilities.
12 July 2019, 21:06
Nasrallah: Lebanon has been living in safety since 2006 due to the achievements of the 2006 war. This deterrence has prevented Israel from attacking Lebanon.