Alwaght – Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, sat down for a long-awaited interview with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV station, on Saturday night, to discuss wide-ranging topics, including his health and Israeli regime’s border operation and Syria invasion.
The Hezbollah leader regularly addressed his supporters and made TV appearances about pressing issues in the region and Lebanon. But the 59-year-old Nasrallah had not appeared since November despite Israeli regime’s escalation in Syria and along Lebanon’s borders.
Nasrallah began the three-hour-long interview by refuting as “lies” all rumors about his health condition, adding that all of these claims are ‘lies’ spread to force him to speak during the Israeli border operation.
“All the things being said about my health condition are lies and I don’t suffer from any disease or problem,” asserted, Nasrallah who was relaxed and at times joked with his interviewer and sipped on tea and water.
Following the discussion on his health, the Hezbollah leader discussed at length Tel Aviv regime’s border operation.
Israeli regime’s border operation
According to Nasrallah, “Operation Northern Storm” was targeting some tunnels that were built before the establishment of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
Furthermore, the Hezbollah leader said he would not confirm whether or not these tunnels were dug by the resistance movement, but he did say he found surprising that it took Israel this long to discover them.
“Eizenkot announced that the operation was over, but the operation has not been finalized yet. Weeks earlier, rumors emerged on my health condition. Following consultation, we have estimated that the Israeli enemy through such rumors was trying to arouse us in a bid to talk about the operation at a time set by him.”
“I wasn’t surprised that the Israelis discovered the tunnels, but surprised because it took Israeli so long to discover them.”
Hezbollah S.G. then revealed that one of the discovered tunnels was dug 14 years ago.
“One of these tunnels was set up in the Palestinian occupied territories before 2006 July war, and all the Israeli technics did not discover it.”
Quoting the Israeli defense minister as saying that the Zionist entity discovered the tunnels two years ago and that Tel Aviv was lying on the Israeli people, Sayyed Nasrallah asked the Israeli settlers: “Do you think that Netanyahu is lying on you regarding the tunnels issue?”
“Netanyahu earlier hold a press conference and said that one of the tunnels’ goals is to prepare for the Galilee operation by Hezbollah. Actually Netanyahu has served us since his remarks caused fear among Israeli people.”
“Because of Operation Northern Shield, the moment northern settlers hear a hammer strike, they will call on their forces for help,” Nasrallah told the interviewer.
Sayyed Nasrallah meanwhile, dismissed Netanyahu and Eizenkot remarks that the Zionist entity has discovered all Hezbollah tunnels at the border with Lebanon.
“Netanyahu and Eizenkot fooled the Israelis about accomplishing the mission of discovering tunnels. I laughed when I heard Netanyahu announcing the end of the ‘Northern Shield’. How can they discover all the tunnels?”
“Hezbollah doesn’t need tunnels to invade Galilee. When we will decide that we will get into Galilee, Israelis will never know from where we will enter the occupied territories.”
The Hezbollah leader than discussed the possibility of war with Israeli regime, which he said would likely take place in Galilee; however, he did specify that it was not his organization’s intention to start a war.
“It is our plan in case we are forced to protect our nation and we will take all defensive measures to do so,” Nasrallah said in reference to invading Galilee.
He stressed that Hezbollah’s experience in the Syrian conflict had prepared his forces for a potential conflict with Tel Aviv.
“Following Syria war it has been easier for Hezbollah to get into Galilee, we have find solutions to deal with the Israelis walls.”
Hezbollah leader affirmed that the Israeli enemy will regret any miscalculation regarding any future war with Lebanon, noting that the price of Israeli aggression against Lebanon will be high.
“We will deal with any Israeli operation to hit targets in Lebanon as an attempt to change rules of engagements. And we will deal with any large-scale operation as a declaration of war against Lebanon.”
Nasrallah pointed out that Netanyahu has no problem to favor his impunity at the expenses of the Israelis’ security in the occupied territories’ north.
When asked about Syria’s response to the recent Israeli attacks on the Damascus countryside, the Hezbollah leader said, “all options are on the table.”
Nasrallah then said his organization is behind the Lebanese government and their approach to the Israeli border wall.
He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was constructing this wall in order to mask the ongoing corruption charges he is facing in his own country.
Sayyed Nasrallah also commented on resistance movement’s access to precision guided missile, saying, “It’s in the Israelis’ favor that Hezbollah possesses precision missiles so that only military targets will be hit and not civilians.”
Nasrallah confirmed that Hezbollah has enough number of precision missiles and is capable of hitting any target across the Zionist entity in the future war.
Nasrallah told Al-Mayadeen that Hezbollah possesses missiles that could reach Tel Aviv along the western coast of Israel.
According to Nasrallah, Israel had given up on preventing Israel from acquiring missiles, saying that they were more focused on halting the acquisition of the guided rockets.
The Hezbollah leader confirmed that his organization already possess these guided missiles, despite Israel’s attempts to block the acquisition.
“We have the weapons we need for our strategy against Israel, and we do not need it transferred to us,” he stressed.
“The situation in Syria is now similar to pre-2011, in many regards. The deadlock in Syria today is in east Euphrates River between US, Kurds and Turkey,” Nasrallah said.
In this context Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Syrian army should be deployed east of Euphrates River, noting that contacts are taking place between the Syrian government and Kurdish militias.
In regards to the ISIS, Nasrallah said that they are nearly defeated in Syria, but they would have been defeated faster if the US did not block the Syrian Arab Army last year.
According to the Hezbollah leader, the Kurdish forces are calling on countries to take back the foreign ISIS fighters that they currently hold in their prisons.
The conversation then switched to the Idlib crisis, with Sayyed Nasrallah saying that the northern province has been controlled by al-Nusra Front terrorists, stressing in this context that Turkey “should find a solution there or else leave the issue for the Syrian leadership in order to cleanse its territory from the terrorists.”
Switching to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal announcement last month, Nasrallah told Al-Mayadeen that he believes the American President is genuine in his decision to bring back the troops.
” I believe Trump is genuine in his desire to withdraw troops from Syria; this was one of his electoral promises,” Nasrallah continued.
Nasrallah said that there were talks between the US and Russia to get Iran and Hezbollah to leave Syria in exchange for the US’ withdrawal.
However, Nasrallah said the Russians did not pressure Iran or Hezbollah to do so.
Sayyed Nasrallah considered that the US pullout from Syria is a new “Trump” strategy that reveals failure and defeat, noting that the US president’s decision scared Saudi and Emirates who considered that Turkey was the real threat not Iran.
He further pointed out that President Omar Bashir of Sudan sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar Assad, asking him to rejoin the Arab League but the latter clearly noted that Syria was pulled out of the Arab League.
“Syria did not choose to get out of it and cannot return to Arab League on its own. So one who ousted Syria is the one who should bring it back… Syria will return to the Arab world with dignity,” Sayyed Nasrallah cited President Assad as saying.
He concluded the conversation on Syria by calling Netanyahu the biggest loser because he was not able to achieve his desired goals.
Referring to the Afghanistan’s war, Sayyed Nasrallah told that the US had left the country to the Taliban, and it was totally defeated there.
“Trump will not wage a war for the sake of anyone, and his country is not in that position right now.”
Hezbollah Secretary General noted meanwhile that President Assad assured that he will stay loyal to everyone who stood by the side of Syria against terrorism.
As for Netanyahu, who continuously displays himself as the triumphant in several fields, Sayyed Nasrallah said that his project and wagers have failed in Syria.
“He failed to topple the Syrian government. He failed to pull Iran out of Syria despite of all his efforts in Russia and the US. In contrast, Syria today is much stronger than before, it has an air force that is stronger than ever, and it will not abandon its national Arab responsibilities. No one knows when Syria would change its attitude toward the Israeli assaults, therefore they should be careful not to go too far with them, because the priority in the past was ending the internal Syrian battle, but now the situation is different, Syria could respond, and Israel should never underestimate the response of the resistance axis, on top of which is Damascus.”
Nasrallah began the discussion on the Trump’s “Deal of the Century” by saying it wasn’t dead, but rather currently facing some obstacles because the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is facing heavy international pressure due to the Jamal Khashoggi murder.
In regards to the deal’s proposition, he said that Palestinians will reject it because they will never accept al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israeli regime.
He touched on Hezbollah’s relations with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which he said were ‘great’ as of now.
The Hezbollah leader added that Syria also maintains good relations with the Palestinian leadership.
Nasrallah also referred to Gaza by saying that Tel Aviv will likely make a grave miscalculation in that region, along with Syria.
“The people of Gaza could replicate what they did in the past,” Nasrallah said, stressing that previous missile strikes terrified nearby settlers.
“Gaza will not tolerate the continued aggression,” he added.
The Hezbollah leader briefly discussed Saudi Arabia after he was asked a question the Crown Prince.
Nasrallah said that Saudi Arabia’s current state had left them weak, which is a positive outlook for both Bahrain and Yemen.
He said that while Saudi Arabia was in a difficult state at this time, they are still a major player in Bahrain and Yemen.
The Lebanese leader declared that the Bahraini opposition has requested the mediation of some Arab states like Qatar, Turkey and Kuwait to solve the crisis, but revealed that Saudi Arabia is preventing any dialogue in the Gulf island.
Regarding Yemen, Sayyed Nasrallah dubbed the Yemeni steadfastness in the face of the Saudi aggression as legendary, and said that what the Yemeni people have been through should be taught.
Finally, at the last part of the interview, Nasrallah discussed Hezbollah’s role in Lebanon and the current situation regarding the formation of the government.
Nasrallah said that his relations with Lebanese President Michel Aoun as great, adding that they are in agreement on all topics, despite some attempts to create discord.
He said the main priority at this time is forming a government as fast as possible, while also including the March 8th political bloc’s Sunni members.
The Hezbollah Secretary-General added that his party has not attacked the Future Movement and its leader Saad Hariri, despite their repeated attacks against them.
Touching on the corruption problem, Nasrallah stressed Hezbollah’s insistence on solving the economic situation and fighting corruption, noting that “it is a long and complicated battle that requires changes in several legislations, so it is not just a matter of months for the situation to change, it requires much more time.”