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Hezbollah Leader Claims Group Won't Pull Out of Syria After Idlib Settlement

Sputnik News

17:05 20.09.2018(updated 17:08 20.09.2018)

On the heels of the latest Israeli airstrikes against targets in Syria, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a televised address, primarily talking about the group's role and future in Syria.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has said the party's powerful military wing will not be pulling out of Syria once the Russia-Turkey brokered Idlib agreement comes into effect, saying Damascus still wants their assistance.

"We will stay there (in Syria) even after the settlement in Idlib. Our presence there is linked to the need and the consent of the Syrian leadership," Nasrallah said in an address broadcast on Lebanese media on Wednesday.

The Hezbollah chief also insisted that "no one can force us out of Syria," though he suggested they are reducing the size of their commitment of troops due to "the quietness of the fronts and less number of threats."

Moreover, he said despite Israel's best efforts to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining advanced armaments, the militia possesses "precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities."

Commenting on Israel's airstrikes in Syria, Nasrallah said, "No matter what you do to cut the route [flow of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah via Syria], the matter is over."

Tel Aviv has long designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization and Damascus' reluctance to sever ties with the group and Tehran proved to be a key sticking point in peace negotiations held prior to the ongoing conflict.

Nasrallah opted to deploy Hezbollah forces to Syria in 2012 to aid the Syrian Army in its nationwide battle against a coalition of hardline Islamist militants, arguing that if they weren't defeated in Syria they would pose a threat to Lebanon, particularly its Shia, Druze and Maronite Christian communities.


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