Nusra Front Vows Fierce Battle with Hizbullah in Lebanon, Promises Immense Surprises

The emir of the al-Qaida affiliate al-Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, announced that the battle with Hizbullah in Lebanon didn't begin yet, vowing surprises along the Lebanese-Syrian border.

“Our brothers in al-Qalamoun region have many surprises... The real battle in Lebanon didn't start yet,” al-Joulani said in an audio message distributed online on Tuesday night.

He pointed out that Hizbullah will suffer greatly, saying: “Maybe (Hizbullah's) secretary general Hassan Nasrallah will regret during the upcoming days the harm he inflicted against Sunnis in Syria.”

“We were forced to move the battle into Lebanon, in particular, Hizbullah's stronghold in the South and Beirut's southern suburbs and to target its positions,” the emir said.

Al-Joulani said that al-Nusra Front fighters sent many signals to Hizbullah to indicate the risks of its intervention in the ongoing war in Syria and its support to Bashar Assad's regime.

Nasrallah told supporters on Tuesday, who were gathered in Dahiyeh to mark the day of Ashura, that Sunni radicals, known as takfiris, "have no future".

"These takfiris will be defeated in all areas and countries, and we will feel honored that we played a role in their defeat," he said by video link.

Beirut's southern suburbs -- a Hizbullah stronghold -- have seen a string of deadly attacks, many of them claimed by jihadists, since the group started sending fighters to Syria three years ago.

"We want to win the final victory... so that the region does not fall into the hands of beheaders... and rapists," Nasrallah said.

Hizbullah sent fighters to Syria to back President Assad's forces against rebels trying to remove him from power. The armed intervention in Syria earned the group the enmity of Syria's predominantly Sunni rebels. Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Over the past year, Syrian troops and Hizbullah fighters have captured most of the towns and villages in Syria's mountainous Qalamoun region along the Lebanon border, depriving the rebels of residential areas where they can stay during the winter.

However, Hizbullah's involvement in Syria had drawn the ire of many in Lebanon.



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