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The T-4 base in Syria after the attack
Hezbollah's no. 2: Iran will retaliate for Israel's Syria attack
'By bombing the T-4 air base, Israel wanted to create an equation that shows it controls the rules of the conflict, and this is unacceptable to us,' says Naim Qassem, Hezbollah's deputy secretary-general, adding that Israel 'isn't ready for an all-out war.'
Naim Qassem, Hezbollah's second-in-command, has threatened a response to the "assassination of Iranians by Israel at the (T-4) air base."

 

 

"By bombing the T-4 air base, Israel wanted to create an equation that shows it controls the rules of the conflict, and this is unacceptable to us," Qassem told Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadeen, which is affiliated with Hezbollah. "We expect an Iranian response against Israel, but we do not know its nature, character or details."

 

Qassem asserted that Israel "isn't ready for an all-out war, and that is why it is conducting a campaign between the wars. The axis of resistance will not allow putting limitations on its movements in Syria. Russia did not determine rules of conflict in Syria."

 

Naim Qassem (Photo: Reuters)
Naim Qassem (Photo: Reuters)

 

Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Hezbollah deputy chief said his organization "supported the Palestinian resistance militarily and financially in the past, and we will continue to support them."

 

He also claimed that "the recent protests in Palestine (on the Gaza border) show support to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah—which shows the cooperation between us."

 

Speaking about the Western attack of Syrian chemical weapons facilities, Qassem said the Russians received information "about the time of the (planned) bombing of certain areas in Syria, which actually changed more than once."

 

He claimed that "the fact the Americans passed on information about the bombing to the Russians indicates they're not interested in war," determining that "the world powers' attack on Syria has failed and is unworthy of a military response."

 

Destruction at the T-4 base
Destruction at the T-4 base

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Monday that Israel can handle an Iranian retaliatory attack. "The founders of modern Zionism did not say that the attacks on the Jewish people would cease once we establish a Jewish state. They said that we could defend ourselves against those attacks. And that’s exactly what the State of Israel has done," he said at the Keren Hayesod-UIA Annual World Conference.

 

The State of Israel, he continued, "restored the capacity of the Jewish people to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat. And we are more powerful than we’ve ever been before. We’re economically successful as we’ve never been before, and we take our economic power and our military might and we weld them together to have unprecedented diplomatic flourishing of Israel’s relations around the world. This covers all the continents."

 

The T-4 base is hundreds of kilometers away from the Israeli border, located between the cities of Homs and Palmyra. Other than the Syrian army's air and ground forces, it also houses Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces. A small Russian aerial force is also stationed at the base.

 

Just two months ago, a stealth drone the Revolutionary Guards tried to infiltrate Israel after being launched from the T-4 airbase. According to an IDF study of the Iranian drone, it was strapped with explosives and aimed to carry out an attack in Israel.

 

 


First published: 04.17.18, 14:15
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