Qassem Says Shebaa Blast 'Message to Israel', Brital Attack 'Total Failure' for Militants

Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Tuesday described the bomb attack that targeted an Israeli patrol in the occupied Shebaa Farms as a message that is “addressed exclusively to Israel,” although it came two days after fierce battles with jihadist militants in Brital's outskirts.

“The bombs were detonated based on the movements of the enemy's troops and this means that the resistance is ready and its eyes are open,” Qassem said in an interview on OTV.

“Israel knows that the resistance is vigilant and would respond to any retaliatory act,” added Qassem.

Asked about the timing of the operation, the Hizbullah leader said the attack “was associated with the name of the martyr (Hizbullah member Hassan Ali) Haidar as one of the connotations, but the other connotation is that resistance is a right that we use at the appropriate timing.”

He was referring to a Hizbullah bomb technician who was killed when Israel detonated a spy device in the southern town of Adloun in September.

In response to another question, Qassem described the operation as “a message that is addressed exclusively to Israel even if other parties might understand another connotation.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Hizbullah claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in the Shebaa Farms that wounded two Israeli soldiers.

“The group of the martyr Hassan Ali Haidar carried out the operation today, Tuesday at 2:22 p.m.,” it said.

Separately, Qassem commented on Sunday's deadly clashes with the Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front in the outskirts of the Bekaa border town of Brital, which were sparked by the group's attack on several Hizbullah posts along the Eastern Mountain Range.

Eight Hizbullah fighters and dozens of militants were killed in the battle, according to the Lebanese party.

“The militants' presence in Qalamun's mountains (in Syria) is a complicated thing and they are suffering a shortage in supplies. Their problem is that they are totally outside the villages, that's why they are seeking to spread to (Syria's) al-Zabadani, al-Jibbeh and Assal al-Ward, knowing that the battles in the entire Qalamun mountains area have not stopped,” said Qassem.

“At times we took the initiative and at other times they tried to infiltrate,” Qassem noted.

“We inflicted very heavy losses on the gunmen and dozens of them were killed. We regained the post that was briefly seized and we took 3 new posts,” he revealed.

Hizbullah number two noted that a new battle might erupt in “all the posts linked to Qalamun's mountains, which means al-Jibbeh, Assal al-Ward, Younine's outskirts, Brital and Arsal's outskirts.”

“They are trying to advance through all these axes and meanwhile we're trying to repel them with the least possible losses,” said Qassem.

“Their operation was a total failure and it did not achieve its goals and yes, we lost some martyrs," he added.


Source: Naharnet

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