Hezbollah leader rules out Israeli war on Lebanon or Syria

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Monday that a new Israeli war on Lebanon or Syria was unlikely, as would a U.S. strike on Iran.

Hezbollah leader rules out Israeli war on Lebanon or Syria

"It is not simple for America to launch a war on Iran, or for Israel to launch a war on Syria or Lebanon," Nasrallah told a mass rally in Beirut's southern suburbs marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, killed in a Damascus car bomb last month.

Nasrallah added that the Jewish state's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and Hezbollah's victory over Israel in 2006 mean that a new war is "no longer that simple."

"I want to remind you that an Israeli war is no longer a picnic. An Israeli war has become very costly because there is in Lebanon the strength, will and education of the resistance (Hezbollah) as well as the blood of the resistance's martyrs," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd, estimated at thousands, who gathered at a rebuilt complex destroyed during the 2006 war with Israel.

Nasrallah renewed his vow to retaliate for the death of Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria, Feb. 12. Hezbollah that has accused Israel, but the Jewish state denies involvement.

Israel has declared a heightened security alert. The security alert coincided with the end of the 40-day mourning period for Mughniyeh.

"The one who killed our commander must be punished. The killers must be punished and they will be punished, God willing," Nasrallah said, again drawing cheers from the crowd. "We will choose the time, place and manner of punishment."


Agencies

Last Mod: 25 Mart 2008, 09:00
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