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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Israel plotting with Arab states to overthrow Syrian regime says Hezbollah chief

Israel was planning a new war on Lebanon

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BEIRUT, Lebanon - The head of the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah claims Israel is plotting with Gulf states and Turkey to bring down the Syrian government.> Big News Network

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah says the newly-formed Saudi coalition that plans to send ground troops into Syria to tackle Islamic State, is using the ISIL threat as a pretext.

The Gulf states want to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad overthrown, he says.

Israel has been behind the civil war in Syria to weaken the country's military defences, claims Nasrallah. The elimination of the Syrian regime, he says will weaken Iran, and the impact of a weakened Syria and Iran will substantially erode the impact of Hamas and Hezbollah, all to the benefit of the Jewish state, he said.

Nasrallah was delivering a speech on Tuesday in Beirut, when he also said Israel was planning a new war on Lebanon.

"The first opportunity is the formation of an appropriate climate to establish relations and alliances with Sunni Arab states, according to the Israeli rhetoric. However, the second opportunity is the possibility of regime change in Syria," the Hezbollah secretary-general said.

"The fall of the Syrian regime will be a severe blow to the axis of resistance, and the Syrian army's ability to participate in any military confrontation with Israel will be questionable," he said, noting that the first threat to Israel is Iran, and the second is the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon.

"The Israelis, as well as Arab governments, are pushing strongly towards speaking about the so-called Sunni-Shiite conflict, and to portray what is going on in the region as Sunni-Shiite conflict despite being political, just like what is happening in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon," said Nasrallah.

"The sectarian cover serves their interests, there is a match between the Israeli rhetoric and some of the Arab media's, especially the Saudi and the Gulf. Israel considers the developments in the region a golden opportunity to present itself as a friend of the Sunnis in the Arab and Muslim world."

"However, their insolence led them to present themselves as a friend, ally and protector of the Sunni people," said Nasrallah

"Do you accept a friend who still occupies a Sunni land? Do you want to be friend with an entity who committed the most horrible massacres against the Sunnis in history? Who prevents the return of millions of Palestinians to their homes?", the Hezbollah chief asked, noting that "those Israelis seized the shrine of Prophet Ibrahim (As) and violated the sanctity of the mosque and the Sunni endowments."

"There is a war on Gaza and martyrs are being killed every day, including women children and elderly people, in front of the eyes of the Arabs and Muslims and in front of the referees who pretend to be Sunnis," he said, expressing wonder at how Israel could presents itself as a friend and protector.

"Israel has dealt with the Syrian events as an opportunity to change the regime, which is believed to be the cornerstone of the Resistance axis," Nasrallah said, arguing that "Israel considers Al Qaeda, ISIL and AL-Nusra Front groups a better option than the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

"Israel agrees with Saudi Arabia and Turkey in preventing any solution that leads to the survival of Assad and his regime even if a Syrian national reconciliation has been reached," Nasrallah said, adding that "this matter is unacceptable by Saudis, Turkish and Israelis, so they were disbanding the negotiations, impeding delegations, and putting preconditions that are no longer accepted by the Europeans and the Americans. They have no problem in going on with war and rejecting any national reconciliation, especially Israel," Nasrallah said.

"Israel prefers partitioning in Syria on the basis of ethnic and sectarian regions."

The Hezbollah chief claimed "Israel has failed in Syria because its goal was to overthrow the regime, and this has not been achieved. Israel has failed to take Syria up to the partition stage because the Syrian army and popular forces are stressing their rejection to partition when they fight in Latakia, Hama, Aleppo and Homs," he said.

Turning to the Saudi and Turkish intervention in Syria, Nasrallah said the motive behind Turkey and Saudi Arabia to send ground troops into Syria is not to fight the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) takfiri group, "because if Turkey wants to get rid of ISIL, it would be enough to close the crossings and oil trade which generates millions of dollars for ISIL."

"Moreover, Al Qaeda and ISIL are controlling Aden by the help and support of the Saudis. They [the Saudi and Turkish governments] handed over the south of Yemen to ISIL, while expressing desire to fight ISIL in Syria," he said.

If Ankara and Riyadh didn't intervene militarily in Syria, the Syrian crisis would end soon, the Hezbollah leader said but if they intervened, the crisis of the whole region will end as well, pointing out that it is important that everyone knows that "the will has triumphed so far, and it will remain strong, despite the sacrifices."

"Neither ISIL, nor Al-Nusra, nor Al Qaeda, nor the US, nor Israel will be allowed to take control of Syria," Nasrallah said, adding "we are making victories one after another side-by-side with the Syrian army."

"In the following days, following years and following centuries, we will be where we should be and we will make victories," he said.

Nasrallah said Israel regarded Hezbollah as a threat and is working towards eliminating that threat. He said this would be by a full-scale war, or through surrounding the risk politically, financially and by assassinating its leaders and cutting off its supply routes in order to isolate and weaken it. Noting Israel and its allies had designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group, he said the Jewish state was now trying to establish it in addition as a criminal group, claiming it is involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, the killing of children and the raping of women.

He said the international media, including the Gulf media, were taking up the cause and would stand by in the case of another war on Lebanon. "This psychological war and the talk of a third Lebanon war will not work with us. We will not retreat, will never surrender, will never be weakened, and we will continue our military readiness," Nasrallah said.

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