"Israel is rejoicing today because the pillars of the Syrian Army were hit. That's what Israel wants - that Syria won't have a strong army, only a police force," Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah told supporters in Beirut Wednesday via video feed.
Nasrallah, who addressed the crowd to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, pointed out the ties between his organization and the Syrian regime and praised the top Syrian officials who were killed in Wednesday's blast in Damascus for their support of the Palestinians.
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He mentioned Damscus' support of Hezbollah during the war. "In the war, the most valuable weapons we had in our possession were from Syria. The missiles we used in the Second Lebanon War were made in Syria. And it's not only in Lebanon but in Gaza as well." Where did these missiles come from? The Saudi regime? The Egyptian regime? These missiles are from Syria."
Nasrallah referred directly to the top Syrian officials who were killed, Defense Minister Daoud Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat. "When Gaza had nothing to eat Syria sent missiles and food. Rajha and Shawkat (symbolize) the Syria which helped the resistance in Palestine. While other Arab regimes blocked (the transfer) of food and donations to Gaza, it was Syria that sent food and weapons to Gaza and took a chance. This is the Syria of Bashar Assad, this is the Syria of the shahid leaders. We denounce this blow which only serves the interests of the enemy."
"These shahids were our comrades in arms, in the resistance and in our struggle against the Israeli enemy. The Syrian army has many leaders which can shatter their enemies' hopes," claimed Nasrallah, while calling for political negotiations. "The solution can only come from dialogue, and we need to hurry up to get it going," the sheikh said.
Nasrallah pointed an accusatory finger towards the US and Arab countries. "The Syrian army is the only army in the region not receiving training or weapons from America. There was an interest to destroy this army. America, the West and its pawns in the Arab world used the just demands of the Syrian people and threw Syria into war," he claimed.
Nasrallah's speech was broadcast on giant screens during a Hezbollah gathering in a southern suburb of Beirut. "If it be Allah's will, you will remember the 33 days of fighting," he said, referring to the war.
Nasrallah warned that Hezbollah has a surprise in store should Israel choose to attack first in any future conflict. "We're preparing a big surprise for Israel, but I won't say what it is because then it won't be a surprise. We know that Israel is constantly gathering intelligence about us and, like in previous wars, it's preparing to land the initial blow."
"All Israelis - the generals, the military, the politicians are still under the shock of their surprising defeat (during the war). The Israelis keep on conducting symposiums, write articles and hold discussions with present and past leaders - and they're all talking about the defeat," the Shiite group's leader said.
"That's good enough for us," said Nasrallah, and claimed that during the war the "resistance" was prepared to bomb Tel Aviv.