Hezbollah Chief on Syria: 'We Will Be Victorious'

Militant group's leader openly throws chips in with Assad regime

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 26, 2013 5:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hezbollah's leader vowed to help propel President Bashar al-Assad to victory in Syria's bloody civil war, warning that the fall of the Damascus regime would give rise to extremists and plunge the Middle East into a "dark period." In a televised address, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also said Hezbollah members are fighting in Syria against Islamic radicals who pose a danger to Lebanon, and pledged that his group will not allow Syrian militants to control areas along the Lebanese border. He pledged that Hezbollah will turn the tide of the conflict in Assad's favor. "We will continue this road until the end, we will take the responsibility and we will make all the sacrifices," he said. "We will be victorious."

Syria's fall, he said, would mean "Palestine will be lost" and "the people of our region will enter a bad and dark period." Nasrallah's comments offered the clearest public confirmation yet of Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, though the group has come under harsh criticism for sending gunmen to Qusair. The Assad regime has been one of Hezbollah's strongest backers for decades and the militant group fears that if the regime falls it will be replaced by a US-backed government hostile to Hezbollah. "Syria is the back of the resistance, and the resistance cannot stand, arms folded while its back is broken," Nasrallah told supporters. "If Syria falls into the hand of America (and) Israel, the resistance (Hezbollah) will be besieged and Israel will enter Lebanon and impose its will," Nasrallah said.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally commemorating Liberation Day, which marks the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon in 2000, Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," which marks the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon in 2000, Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013.   (Hussein Malla)
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah gives a televised speech from an unknown location to mark the anniversary of Israel's May 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Saturday, May 25, 2013.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah gives a televised speech from an unknown location to mark the anniversary of Israel's May 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Saturday, May 25, 2013.   (Anonymous)
Hezbollah supporters hold flags as they listen to a speech by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah during a rally commemorating Liberation Day, in Mashghara village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013.
Hezbollah supporters hold flags as they listen to a speech by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," in Mashghara village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013.   (Hussein Malla)
A Lebanese boy wearing a military uniform and holding a toy rifle attends a rally commemorating Liberation Day, in Mashghara village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Saturday, May 25, 2013.
A Lebanese boy wearing a military uniform and holding a toy rifle attends a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," in Mashghara village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Saturday, May 25, 2013.   (Hussein Malla)
Members of the demining unit of Hezbollah raise their hands as they shout slogans in support of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah during a rally commemorating Liberation Day, in Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013.
Members of the demining unit of Hezbollah raise their hands as they shout slogans in support of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," in Lebanon, Saturday May 25, 2013.   (Hussein Malla)
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