Nasrallah to Islamist militants: Retreat or die

BEIRUT: On his second trip to the Bekaa Valley in less than a week, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned that Islamist militants on Lebanon’s border had only two options: to retreat or die of cold.

Islamist ISIS and Nusra Front militants are “incapable of invading any Bekaa area because they are surrounded,” Nasrallah told a group of scholars on the eve of the holy month of Muharram.

Those jihadists have two options, he said, “to die of cold or leave in civilian clothes to Lebanon and Syria.”

Nasrallah’s remarks were published on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV website Tuesday, but it is not clear when he addressed the scholars. Muharram, the first month of the Islamic Calendar, begins Friday evening.

He warned the jihadists that Hezbollah “will not be conquered and we will not allow anyone to defeat us.”

Nasrallah assured the scholars that the security situation “is under control.”

“In the event of a security flaw, that doesn’t mean we have failed, because the biggest countries in the world cannot claim to have security under control 100 percent.”

He said last week’s trip to the Bekaa Valley, where he interacted with Hezbollah cadres, was made to reassure himself of the party’s strength along the border.

Nasrallah pointed to the Oct. 6 border clash between Hezbollah fighters and Nusra militants that left at least two dozen combatants killed.

Hezbollah has acknowledged the deaths of eight fighters while security sources said at least 20 Hezbollah fighters were wounded in the clashes outside the Bekaa border village of Brital.

“It was a flaw in the details that was dealt with,” Nasrallah said of the deadly fighting around Brital.

The Hezbollah chief said he was briefed on the situation on the ground.

“I walked around several kilometers between the positions, and I assure you that we are very strong on the ground, and our preparations are very advanced,” he said.

“Every day that passes, we grow more certain that our fight in Syria was for the sake of protecting Lebanon; and today, we are in the axis of resistance, we stand in a position of victory,” he added.

“When the enemies’ plans fail it means you are winning, knowing that the battle is still long before the final victory.

“We are in front of a golden opportunity to break the takfiri scheme.”

By The Daily Star


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