The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said his powerful armed group was capable of striking any target in neighboring Israel, saying “the days when we fled and they didn’t are over.”
“Today we are not only able to hit Tel Aviv as a city but, God willing, we are able to hit specific targets in Tel Aviv and anywhere in occupied Palestine,” Hassan Nasrallah said, referring to the Israeli state, according to Reuters.
Hezbollah, a Shiite party and guerrilla group, fought a war with its southern neighbor Israel in 2006, which the group claimed as a victory even though Lebanon suffered high casualties and many areas were heavily bombed.
Nasrallah accused the U.S. and Israel of stoking “terrorism” in Syria, during a speech broadcast to thousands of his supporters in southern Beirut.
“They want to destroy Syria because it is the main ally of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine,” said Nasrallah, whose Shiite militant party is allied with the Damascus regime, according to AFP.
Condemning deadly twin blasts that killed dozens and injured hundreds in Damascus on Thursday, Nasrallah criticized the Syrian opposition over its accusation that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was behind the attacks.
The explosions, the Hezbollah chief added, were proof that Syria risks descending into an abyss similar to Iraq.
“The Syrian people are at a crossroads,” Nasrallah said, adding that one path leads to “reform,” and the other to “destruction.”
The armed group has steadfastly expressed its support for Assad’s regime since the outbreak of an uprising in March last year.
Hezbollah is considered Iran’s proxy in Lebanon and its weapons transit mainly through Syria.
Nasrallah spoke during an event in Beirut’s southern suburbs celebrating the reconstruction of the district, much of which was destroyed by aerial bombing in the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah TV channel al-Manar said.
At least 1,200 Lebanese died during the 2006 war, most of them civilians, while around 160 Israelis died, the majority of them soldiers.