The Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah vowed to maintain its “jihad” in Syria at a huge rally in Beirut on Wednesday, a day after its leader Hassan Nasrallah said the war was in a phase of escalation.
Hassan Nasrallah made a rare live appearance in front of thousands of supporters in the southern suburb of Beirut on the eve of Ashura, one of the most important festivals on the Shiite calendar.
Nasrallah said the war in Syria was being fought in defense of the whole region. sacred
“We will continue to bear our great responsibilities of jihad there. Your sons are there, and your men, your brothers, your husbands. They are defending their existence, dignity and the resistance,” he said.
“The regional scene is currently one of tension and escalation, and it does not appear that there are paths for negotiations or solutions,” he said in a rare live televised speech before thousands of supporters in Beirut, adding that “the theater (in Syria) was open to more tension, escalation and confrontation.”
Black-clad supporters paraded through the streets to mark the 7th-century death of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussein, seen by Shi’ites as a divinely guided leader, and they roared approval of Nasrallah’s remarks.
“We answer your call, o Nasrallah!” they chanted.
Since Hezbollah’s entry into Syria’s civil war on the side of Bashar al-Assad, some 1,500 of its fighters have died, say security sources in Lebanon. These have included about 350 this year; their images, often in “heroic pose”, are displayed on posters in Shi’ite villages across Lebanon.
Hezbollah’s part in the war is presented by the movement as a way of protecting the regional Iran-backed bloc that has long sustained Hezbollah, and to exterminate “the Sunni extremists” in Syria.
Hezbollah has become an essential part of the coalition of forces backed by Iran and Russia that has been critical to keeping Assad in power and battling both the Sunni rebel groups and armed civilians. The group committed uncountable crimes against the Syrian civilians.
Hezbollah took part in every important battle with Assad regime against Syrian rebels. With their help, Assad regime forces were able to achieve victory in al-Qusair in Homs countryside, in al-Qalamoun battles, in Ghouta battles, in Hama countryside battle and many other important areas.
They also took part in besieging civilians in Madaya, Darayya, Moudamiya, Old Homs, al-Waer in Homs and most recently in Aleppo siege and ongoing battles.