The Iranian-backed militia, Hezbollah, marked the anniversary of the end of its 2006 war with Israel, with thousands of the Shi’ite group’s supporters gathered in the southern Lebanese town of Khiam. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah took the opportunity to declare, in a televised address to the crowd, that the United States was incapable of hurting his Iranian-backed militia, vowing to continue its activities across the region. Nasrallah declared “The US administration will not be able in any way, not with their money sanctions, threats or intimidation, to affect our strength, determination and growth.”
Nasrallah further noted that Israel publicly states that it does not seek a renewed confrontation with Lebanon, while behind the scenes it is preparing to launch a war on Lebanon because of the growing strength of Hezbollah – referring to the growing arsenal of advanced rockets the Shi’ite militia is building in cooperation with Iran, a reality Israel has declared as a “red line.” “The Israelis says: I don’t want a war with Lebanon, the cost of the war is high, higher than any target that the war could achieve, we will go to war only as a last resort. But in closed meetings the Americans and Europeans say to Lebanese officials: if you don’t do this, Israel will launch a war on Lebanon, if Hezbollah don’t do that, Israel will launch a war on Lebanon,” the militia leader asserted.
Nasrallah also took the opportunity to reiterate his threat that Hezbollah could hit Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona, among other strategic assets of the Jewish state, while vowing to humiliate Israel in the next war.