Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah announced on Thursday, his Shi’ite militants will remain fighting in the civil war in Syria beside the forces of Syria President Bashar al-Assad for as long as necessary.
Hezbollah has played a key role in turning the tide in favor of Assad this year, leading to the town of Qausair being recaptured. The militants have also helped Assad forces in Aleppo a key city in the north.
Nasrallah said that as long as the need was present to remain fighting in Syria, Hezbollah’s presence would remain.
He said the group’s fighters were in Syria to confront dangers Syria is facing from regional, international and takfiri attack on the region and country, referring to foreign Islamist rebels that are fighting inside Syria.
Takfiri refers to the hard line Sunni Muslims, which view other Muslims as being infidels, often as a way to justify fighting or killing them.
The Syria civil war of over 2 years has polarized much of the Middle East.
Along with attracting Sunni and Shi’ite fighters into Syria from neighbor Lebanon, the conflict is raising the sectarian tensions inside the tiny state on the Mediterranean, as the violence has spilled across the border.
Najib Mikati the Prime Minister resigned back in March and his designated successor has not succeeded in reaching a consensus in forming the new government.
Nasrallah announced that any attempt by the Sunni-led opponents of Hezbollah to tie a deal for the new cabinet with the demand for Hezbollah’s withdrawing from Syria would not be successful. Hezbollah is a political movement as well as being a militant group and had two ministers in the government of Mikati.
Nasrallah, whose militant forces battled for 34 days against Israel in 2006, and whose top security official and predecessor were both assassinated, often times has given speeches through a video link from undisclosed and secure locations.
However, his comments made on Thursday mark the second appearance he has made in public in less than 24 hours following a speech he made Wednesday night accusing Arab countries of supporting Israel in opposing the attempts for an agreement with Iran regarding its controversial nuclear program.