Former Mossad Chief: Russia cannot force Iran out of Syria

The former Director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency Tamir Pardo expressed doubts about Russia’s ability to remove the Islamic Republic and its proxy militias from Israel’s northern neighbor, Syria. The former top Israeli intelligence official, in an interview to the Arabic London-based Elaph news website, also referred to the powerful Lebanese Iranian-proxy Hezbollah, which was a key component in the Syria conflict. Pardo assessed that the way to handle Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is blacklisted by the United States and European union as a terror organization, is not necessary with a military operation, but rather by imposing sanctions on Lebanon to weaken the Iranian-backed Shi’ite organization.

The comments by the former Director of the Mossad came as Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, confessed in a speech to his followers that the newly imposed U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran are affecting Hezbollah. That said, Nasrallah claimed that the sanctions would not hurt Hezbollah’s determination to surpass all of its financial difficulties. “I won’t say that the sanctions don’t affect us, they do affect us for sure, it is not true to say otherwise, but they won’t affect our will, determination and strength. Do whatever you want with the sanctions, because people are questioning our financial capabilities. We have enough strength, infrastructure, personnel and capabilities to surpass all of these difficulties,” Hezbollah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said.

 

Secretary Nasrallah further took the opportunity to boast in his militia’s capabilities, including its vast arsenal of weapons and experienced troops. He asserted that his organization “is stronger than at any time since its launch in the region,” and went as far to claim that Hezbollah today is “stronger than the Israeli army.” “The resistance in Lebanon today, in its possession of weapons and equipment and capabilities and members and cadres and ability and expertise and experience, and also of faith and determination and courage and will, is stronger than at any time since its launch in the region,” Hezbollah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said.