Hezbollah calls for Lebanese anti-terrorism strategy
Beirut, Feb 17: Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah voiced support for "a national anti-terror strategy", affirming that dialogue will continue between the Hezbollah and former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's al-Mustaqbal movement.
In a speech commemorating Hezbollah's "martyr leaders", Nasrallah revealed for the first time that his group was fighting the Sunni jihadi organisation Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
Hezbollah is already fighting in Syria, alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
Nasrallah said: "I tell those who are asking us to withdraw from Syria, let us go together to Syria and Iraq and to any place that contains a threat to the future of our nation, because that is the right way to defend Lebanon," in a direct answer to Hariri's call on Nasrallah to withdraw his forces from Syria.
The Hezbollah leader stressed "we agree on the enemy (and) that is terrorism. Daesh (IS) and al-Nusra Front are present on the other side of the Eastern Mountain Range.
He noted: "We will face another challenge when the snow melts," and stressed that these groups "can be easily defeated", adding that victory requires a "national decision and will".
"Whether the Lebanese like it or not, Lebanon has always been affected by what happens in the region. Anything that happens in it has an impact on Lebanon," Nasrallah said.
On the presidential crisis in Lebanon, Nasrallah called for "renewing domestic efforts".
Lebanon has been without a President since May 25 last year, when the tenure of former President Michel Suleiman ended and the parliament has failed for 18 consecutive times to convene for electing a new President, because of a lack of the constitutionally required quorum.
On the Syrian conflict, Nasrallah said: "The game has ended in Syria and the insistence on fighting has become a form of intransigence".
He also called for coordination between the Lebanese and Syrian armies in the border region, calling on the Lebanese government to coordinate with Damascus over the issues of refugees and security.