Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday pledged that his group would retaliate against Israel from Lebanon should it kill any of its members in Syria, while warning that Hizbullah might shoot down any Israeli drone flying over Lebanon.
“If the Lebanese government wants pacification, it must tell the Americans to rein in Israel,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech marking the second anniversary of the ouster of militants and jihadists from the eastern border region.
“If Israel kills any of our members in Syria, we'll respond from Lebanon and not in the Shebaa Farms, and we tell the Israeli army on the border to be very cautious and to wait for us,” Nasrallah warned, citing the death of two Hizbullah members in an Israeli raid on Syria overnight.
“Israel did not attack a Quds Force position in Syria but rather a house containing Hizbullah fighters,” the Hizbullah leader noted, disputing an announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I tell the residents of northern Israel not to rest,” he added, while suggesting that Netanyahu has expanded Israel’s airstrikes to Iraq and Lebanon for electoral purposes.
As for the drone that exploded over a Hizbullah stronghold in Beirut’s southern suburbs overnight, Nasrallah warned that “from now on,” Hizbullah will “target any Israeli drone that violates Lebanon's airspace.”
“We in Lebanon will not allow such drone attacks and we will do anything to prevent such a course, no matter what the price might be,” Hizbullah’s leader said, warning that “Lebanon will face a very dangerous situation if this incident goes unaddressed” and citing the suspected Israeli drone campaign against Iran-backed militias in Iraq.
“The overnight attack is the first Israeli aggression in Lebanon since August 14, 2006 and it is a dangerous attack,” Nasrallah warned, noting that “Netanyahu would be mistaken if he thinks that this issue can go unnoticed.”
"The time when Israeli aircraft come and bombard parts of Lebanon is over."
Explaining the series of events that took place overnight in Dahiyeh, Hizbullah’s leader said “what happened yesterday was an Israeli suicide drone attack on a target in Beirut's southern suburbs.”
“The first drone was a reconnaissance drone and was not carrying explosives and was trying to transmit accurate footage of a certain target... Young men started hurling rocks at the drone and it was hit by a rock. It is not clear whether it was downed by the rock or by a technical malfunction,” he explained.
“The drone that crashed overnight was a military one,” he stressed, promising that Hizbullah would soon put the two drones on display.
“What happened yesterday is very, very, very dangerous,” Nasrallah emphasized, noting that Hizbullah possesses the ability to shoot down Israeli drones over Lebanon.
The overnight drone explosion damaged a Hizbullah media center in a residential building in the Beirut southern suburb of Mouawad. A Hizbullah spokesman said shards from shattered window panes caused "minor injuries."
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