al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Thursday that President Bashar Assad
said that his country "will give everything to Hezbollah"
in gratitude for the Shiite group's support of the Syrian regime.
Assad vowed to imitate Hezbollah's example and turn Syria
into "a nation of resistance (to Israel), for Syria and for future generations," referring to the alleged Israeli
airstrikes in Damascus
over the weekend.
According to the newspaper, Assad's statements were given during a meeting with Lebanese delegates in Damascus and were meant to allay concerns that the airstrikes in Damascus will deter Syrian support of Hezbollah.
In the meeting, Assad also noted that Hezbollah was a "model of resistance" against Israel.
According to the report, the Lebanese delegates described the president as exhibiting "self-confidence, contentment and great gratitude to Hezbollah."
Assad reportedly added that "for the first time we feel that both they and we (Hezbollah) live in the same situation and they are not only allies that we aid with the resistance.
"We decided that we must approach them and turn into a nation of resistance like Hezbollah, for Syria and for future generations."
Assad referred again to the attacks attributed to the Israeli Air Force,
which according to several reports targeted weapons meant for Hezbollah, and said that his country can "easily" retaliate to the airstrikes by "launching rockets at Israel."
Nevertheless, Assad said: "We want a strategic revenge by opening the door of resistance and turning all of Syria into a resistance nation."
Assad also mentioned the prolonged Syrian civil war and said: "After the attack we are convinced that we are fighting the enemy. We are after its soldiers that have spread throughout our country."
On Tuesday, Assad also referred to the bombings and said that "the latest Israeli assault reveals the level of involvement the Israeli occupier, Western countries and their supporters have in the events in Syria."
In a meeting with Iranian
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi,
Assad also said that "the Syrian people and its brave army, which have registered important victories in its battle against the terrorist and infidel gangs, are fully capable of dealing with Israel's adventurism."
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