Turkey Will Get a Chunk of Syria: An Advantage of Being in NATO


July 14, 2019

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

The success of Turkey’s takeover of Syria’s most pro-jihadist province, Idlib, is making less and less likely that Syria will be able to continue maintaining Idlib as being a part of Syria. (This is something I had predicted, back on 14 September 2018, to be possible or even likely, and now it is actually happening.) On July 10th, Reuters headlined “Assad hits a wall in Syrian war as front lines harden”, and reported that, “More than two months of Russian-backed operations in and around Idlib province have yielded little or nothing for Assad’s side. It marks a rare case of a military campaign that has not gone his way since Russia intervened in 2015. While resisting government attacks, the insurgents have managed to carve out small advances of their own, drawing on ample stocks of guided anti-tank missiles that opposition and diplomatic sources say have been supplied by Turkey.” It continues:

Moscow has appeared keen to preserve its ties with Ankara even as its air force bombs in support of Assad: Turkey says Russia has intervened to stop attacks on Turkish forces from Syrian government-held territory. … The Idlib area is dominated by Tahrir al-Sham, the jihadists formerly known as the Nusra Front. [And before that, they were called Al Qaeda in Syria, but Western news-agencies, such as Reuters, prefer not to mention that fact, especially because the U.S. used_Nusra to train ‘our’ proxy boots-on-the-ground ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria to bring down Syria’s Government. Elsewhere, the Reuters article calls them ‘insurgents’.] Some 300,000 people fleeing bombardment have moved toward the Turkish border since April, prompting the United Nations to warn that Idlib was on the brink of a “humanitarian nightmare”.

For Ankara, the Syrian opposition’s last major state sponsor, preventing another major influx of Syrian refugees is of paramount importance: Turkey already hosts 3.6 million of them. …

A Russian private military contractor who was based near Idlib province told Reuters that rebel fighters there are far more professional and motivated than their adversary. Pro-government forces cannot win the battle for Idlib unless Moscow helps them on the ground, he said. …

Of course the regime [that’s the legitimate Government, but Western ‘news’-agencies such as Reuters call it ‘the regime’, and most of their audience don’t even recognize that their own intelligence has just been insulted by calling Syria’s Government a ‘regime’ while calling the invading regimes, Turkey and U.S., not that] has the desire to recover Idlib by force [as if the sovereign Government of Syria doesn’t have this right], but … without the Russians it can’t[those nasty Russians, who are defending Syria from U.S.-Saud-backed proxy-armies that are led mostly by Al Qaeda in Syria], because there are many militants and the Russians are completely committed to the Turks,” the source said.

Syria’s Government is fighting hard against jihadist forces in Idlib who meet Turkey’s standard of being ‘moderate rebels’ against Syria’s Government, but unless Russian forces there — which were invited in by Syria’s Government, instead of being invaders there like Turkey and the United States are — will commit far more forces for the defense of Syria (which seems increasingly unlikely), Turkey will win Idlib as being a part of Turkey.

Consequently, Turkey is already starting to build infrastructure even immediately to the north and east of Idlib in order to stake its claim to a yet larger portion of Syria than just Idlib. This might not have been part of the deal that was worked out by Russia’s Putin, Iran’s Rouhani, and Turkey’s Erdogan, in Tehran, on 9 September 2018, which agreement allowed Turkey only to take over — and only on a temporary basis — Idlib province, which is by far the most pro-jihadist (and the most anti-Assad) of Syria’s 14 provinces. Turkey was instead supposed to hold it only temporarily, but the exact terms of the Turkey-Russia-Iran agreement have never been publicly disclosed.

Until that 9 September 2018 Tehran conference, Idlib had been the province to which Syria’s Government was busing defeated jihadists who had surrendered instead of choosing to stay and die where they were. Syria’s Government had given its surrounded jihadists this final option, in order to reduce as much as possible the numbers of jihadists’ civilian hostages who would also likely be killed in an all-out bombing campaign there. So, the existing population of Idlib, which was already the most pro-jihadist in Syria, was now starting to overflow with the additional thousands of defeated jihadists who had chosen to surrender instead of to be immediately killed.

At that time, just prior to the Tehran conference — and this was actually the reason why the conference was held — the U.S. and its allies, and the U.N., were demanding that an all-out invasion of Idlib, which had been planned by the Governments of Syria and of Russia, must not take place, for ‘humanitarian’ reasons. There was all that ‘humanitarian’ concern (led by the United States) for the world’s biggest concentration of Nusra and Nusra-led jihadists — and for Syria’s most jihadist-supporting civilian population. So much ‘kindness’, such ‘admirable’ ‘humanitarianism’. Furthermore the U.S. Government was threatening to greatly increase its forces against Syria if that invasion by Syria and by Russia into Idlib (which is, after all, part of Syria — so, what business is it, even of the U.N., at all?) were to be carried out. The Tehran conference was meeting in order to resolve that emergency situation (mainly America’s threats of a possible war against Russia), so as to forestall this attack.

However, now that it’s clear that Erdogan will not  follow through on his generally understood promise that this would be only a temporary military occupation of Idlib, the question is: what can Syria and Russia and Iran do to keep Idlib inside Syria, and whether they even want to do so. If Syria loses those jihadists, then not only will it lose the perhaps hundred thousand surviving jihadists there — many of whom came from other countries in order to fight against Syria’s secular Government — but also will lose some of those Idlib natives, who were always against Syria’s secular Government. Since those people would no longer be voting against Bashar al-Assad, because they would become Turks, this would actually be a Syrian political advantage for Assad. Yet, he has been resisting it, in order to hold Syria together. He has always been committed to holding Syria together.

Turkey’s negotiating position is exceptionally strong, because Turkey now is riding the fence between the U.S. alliance, NATO (of which Turkey has been the only predominantly Muslim member ever since it joined in 1952), versus Russia. According to a major report in English from Iran’s Fars News Agency — which had translated from published Arab sources in many countries and which report hasn’t been denied by any of them — Russia had saved Erdogan’s life on 15 June 2016, when there was a coup-attempt to get rid of him. Headlining on 20 July, just five days after the failed coup, “Erdogan Warned of Incoming Coup by Russian Alert”, Fars said that,

Several Arab media outlets, including Rai Alyoum, quoted diplomatic sources in Ankara as saying that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known locally as the MIT, received intel from its Russian counterpart that warned of an impending coup in the Muslim state.

The unnamed diplomats said the Russian army in the region had intercepted highly sensitive army exchanges and encoded radio messages showing that the Turkish army was readying to stage a coup against the administration in Ankara.

The exchanges included dispatch of several army choppers to President Erdogan’s resort hotel to arrest or kill the president.

In any case, after that event, Turkey’s foreign policies definitely switched away from being clearly U.S.-allied, to being on the fence and calculated purely to serve Turkey’s advantage, no longer tied, at all, to NATO or the U.S., and, in many important respects, very much contrary to the U.S. regime. In fact, Erdogan has been emphatic that this coup had been led by Fethullah Gulen, a billionaire Muslim cleric, formerly allied with Erdogan, who since moving to the U.S. in 1999 has been his bitter enemy. In fact, some of NATO’s forces in Turkey were participating in the attempted coup. However, Erdogan holds on tenaciously to that NATO membership, because it gives Turkey enormous leverage it can use in order to grab territory from Syria, which the U.S. regime wants Turkey to do.

Here is how Erdogan has clearlly committed Turkey to taking at least parts of Syria’s northeast:

On 6 June 2018, Reuters headlined “Turkish university to open campus in northern Syria” and reported that, “Turkey’s Harran University, in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa [Turkey], said it is preparing to open a faculty in Al-Bab [Syria] for students in towns under Turkish control. … The Turkish cabinet has also approved opening a vocational high school in Jarablus [Syria] affiliated with Gaziantep University, Turkey’s official gazette said on Tuesday.”

On 30 July 2018, Syria.LiveuaMap headlined “Turkey start[s] to build highways starting from Cobanbey-al-Bab to Jarablus-Manbij in Syria” — all of which is in the parts of Syria’s north that Turkey controls.

On 23 May 2019, Gaziantep University posted an announcement of “The Global Syrian Refugee Crisis” conference to be held in Gaziantep, Turkey, on 14-18 October 2019, and also announced that: “The medium of instruction of our university is entirely English in %80 of faculties and Turkish in some faculties. However, after the ferocious civil war in Syria, we opened four departments (Engineering, Architecture, Administration and Theology) that teach in Arabic language. This was achieved by hiring Syrian academic staff in these programs which created opportunities for refugee students who want to continue their studies in Arabic.” So, it does seem to be Erdogan’s intention that directly across the border in Syria, this part of what has, until recently, been a part of Syria, is to be instead a part of Turkey. This would be the chief favorable outcome for the U.S. regime resulting from the Syrian portion of the CIA-planted “Arab Spring” rebellions in 2011.

On 27 May 2019, the Daily Sabah headlined “Turkey to Build New Faculties to Promote Higher Education in Northern Syria” and reported that

Gaziantep University, located in southern Turkey close to the Syrian border, decided to offer education for Syrians living in the northern part of the war-torn country, the areas that were liberated by Turkey’s two cross-border operations. … 

The university applied to Turkish education officials to set up four faculties in northern Syria’s al-Bab, Azaz and Mare districts, which is planned to focus on economics, business, teaching and engineering; some 2,700 prospective students have already taken proficiency exams. The faculties will be the second move by Gaziantep University as it previously opened a vocational school last year in Aleppo’s Jarablus district. While vocational education currently continues in five departments, the university is planning to expand it with four more and to provide education for 500 students.

In 2016, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield and cleared about 2,000 kilometers of area in northern Syria, which was once dragged into darkness by the Daesh terrorist organization.

This seems to reflect Syria’s actual capitulation to Turkey, which henceforth is to control that area — permanently. The only question now is how large the seized area will turn out to be.

The first person, it seems, who recognized quickly the significance of this takeover was the tweeter “domihol” who on 28 May 2019 posted

Turkey is also throwing serious money at its seemingly permanent slice of Syria.

You don’t build universities just so Damascus can take it over soon.

Right below that is his:

I’m sorry to say – my prediction for Syria’s near and possibly medium term future still holds …

Dominic | دومينيك added,

[15 December 2018]  prediction:

TRUMP gets the oil & gas

ERDOGAN gets the water

PUTIN gets the “mission accomplished” moment …

9:49 AM – 28 May 2019

However, his predictions there (as is routine for tweets, which are good for communicating only bumper-stickers) are unsupported by anything. For example: Where is Turkey’s oil and gas? Is it actually anywhere near to the Turkish border? Here’s a map which shows where it is, and that’s certainly not near the Turkish border.

In addition, the U.S. regime is evidently preparing to assist Turkey’s takeover of parts of Syria, but focuses it specifically against Iran. On 24 May 2019, the U.S. State Department advertised a “Grant Opportunity” for NGOs to be “Supporting Local Governance and Civil Society in Syria” and are offering up to $75 million to each, in order to “Counter extremism and disinformation perpetuated by Iranian forces” and “End the presence of Iranian forces and proxies in Syria” and otherwise support America’s war against Iran. Perhaps the U.S. and Turkey have agreed that U.S. operations against Syria will continue in the Turk-seized areas after the U.S. occupation of the remaining parts of Syria has ended.

If Assad were to give a press conference now, the first question to ask would be: “Is Syria going to allow Turkish universities and highways to be built on Turk-seized Syrian territory?” Because, if the answer to that is anything like yes, then not only would it seem that Turkey has won against Syria and Russia and Iran, but so too has the U.S., whose fall-back position, ever since it first tried a coup in Syria in 1949, has been to at least break off a piece of Syria, when and if it failed to take the whole thing. The construction of a Turkish university, highway, and/or etc., in Syria, would be a huge apparent win for Donald Trump, but an even bigger apparent victory for Tayyip Erdogan, who now seems to be, yet again, a member of America’s alliance against Russia. (And Iran, too, would seem to be endangered by Syria’s apparent defeat in that part of Syria. But maybe not: is Turkey going to end altogether its alliance with the U.S.?)

Usually, successful aggression is impossible without allies, and the U.S., again, seems to have Turkey as one — and as an extremely important one (more important, perhaps, than ever before).

The U.S. Government wants to remove land from Syria’s Government. The Turkish Government wants to be the Government that actually takes it. So, U.S. and Turkey seem to have made a deal. Turkey took Syrian territory while promising (as the Qatar regime’s Al Jazeera headlined on 5 June 2018 — “YPG confirms withdrawal from Syria’s Manbij after Turkey-US deal”). Al Jazeera reported there that, “The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said its military advisers would leave the town of Manbij a day after Turkey and the United States said they reached an agreement on the armed group’s withdrawal.” Those two foreign invaders against Syria (Turkey and U.S.) came to this agreement in Washington DC, regarding their respective invasions: Turkish forces won’t conquer YPG (separatist-Kurd) forces in any part of Syria unless and until that part has already become instead a part of Turkey — swallowed-up by Turkey. The U.S. will be protecting those Kurds until the U.S. ends its military occupation of Syria. After that, those Kurds will be on their own.

Back on 10 January 2018, Elijah J. Magnier had commented,

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also considers Turkey to be another occupying force in northern Syria. He would like to liberate the entire Syrian territory, which is not the case with Russia, which would prefer to end the war as soon as possible and undertake the work at the negotiating table.”

Magnier seems to have been correct: Russia appears not to be objecting to Turkey’s land-seizures in Syria. Therefore, Turkey is a “middle-man” between both U.S. and Russia — strategizing with both.

On 19 January 2018, Tony Cartalucci commented,

The Syrian government with support from its Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies has embarked on a major military operation to retake parts of Syria’s northern governorate of Idlib. As it does so, the US and its regional allies are rushing to position themselves to ensure the permanent partition of Syria is achieved.”

He continued (all of which has likewise subsequently been borne out):

It should be noted that Afrin is located between [Idlib and] territory Turkey is currently occupying. Turkish troops, should they seize Afrin [which they soon did], would effectively have expanded Turkey’s “Euphrates Shield” by 30 miles (53 km) and present an opportunity for its troops to link up with troops of Turkey’s “Idlib Shield.” This would create a large, singular buffer zone within which US-NATO forces could harbor militants driven back by Syria’s most recent offensive.

Depending on Turkey’s success, the zone could be expanded even further, even as far as including Idlib city itself[which happened in September of that year] – thus granting the US an opportunity to present it as a second Syrian “capital” much in the way Benghazi was used in Libya during US-led regime change there. There remains, however, the fact that Idlib is openly occupied and administered by Al Qaeda, making the proposal of transforming it into an “opposition capital” particularly dubious.

Meanwhile, the US itself continues its own uninvited, illegal occupation of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates, having previously justified the invasion and occupation of Syrian territory under the guise of fighting the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS). …

The US occupation of Syrian territory will be difficult for Damascus and its allies to contest without being drawn into a direct military confrontation. Turkey’s occupation may be easier to confound, but if sufficient political will exists to maintain it along with US backing, it could effectively result in a Golan Heights-style occupation of Syrian territory [by Turkey] that provides a long-term geopolitical pressure point versus Damascus for years to come.

And while US efforts to destroy Syria have fallen short, the US now permanently occupies territory within one of Iran’s closest and most important regional allies. Like a splinter under the skin turning septic, the US occupation will remain a constant potential source of wider infection both for Syria and the rest of the region.

Perhaps Cartalucci was the first person publicly to recognize what has been happening here.

On 8 February 2018, Russia’s RT bannered, “US-led coalition conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes against Syrian forces”, and reported,

The US-led coalition has also firmly stressed its ‘non-negotiable right to act in self-defense,’ since its service members are embedded with the [anti-Syrian] ‘partners’ on ground in Syria. … ‘It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists,’ Lavrov said.

All of this, likewise, has since been borne out. Key was the September 2018 Tehran summit of Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani (Syria not even being represented there), to decide how to handle Syria’s most pro-jihadist province: Idlib. (It’s even more jihadist than Raqqah, where ISIS was headquartered, and which is the second-most-jihadist.)

On 9 September 2018, the Turkish-Government-controlled (and this also means anti-Syrian) Daily Sabah newspaper bannered “The outcome of the Tehran summit” and reported that:

We know for a fact that Erdoğan’s goal was to prevent the Russians and the Assad regime from carrying out a comprehensive operation in Idlib. In this sense, he got what he wanted. At the joint press conference, the Russian president announced that the three countries, at the request of President Erdoğan, urged all parties to lay down their arms. As such, it became possible to prevent another humanitarian disaster, a new influx of refugees, the collapse of the Astana process [which Putin had established to replace the U.N.’s peace process immediately after Obama bombed on 17 September 2016 Syria’s Army at Deir Ezzor, thus violating the ceasefire agreement that his Secretary of State John Kerry had just signed with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 9 September 2016and the radicalization of moderate opposition, who would have moved closer to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) [Al Qaeda in Syria]. At the same time, a clear distinction was made between ‘terrorists’ and opposition groups. At the same time, there is no doubt that the Iranian president’s proposal to remove the United States from the east of the Euphrates river was in line with Erdoğan’s own agenda.

Actually, however, the truthfulness of that last sentence is still very much in doubt.

The ultra-reliable Al Masdar News reported on 10 September 2018 that

Russia and Iran have already informed Turkey that they will not accept any jihadist factions inside of Idlib; however, the latter is attempting to convince Moscow and Tehran to avoid carrying out the attack in favor of Ankara clearing these groups.”

Putin and Rouhani accepted Erdogan’s promise there (of “Ankara clearing those groups”), and consequently allowed Turkey’s troops to handle Idlib. But, evidently, Erdogan had been lying about that. He didn’t eliminate the jihadists — he has instead been protecting them (except that his forces attack the Kurdish-independence forces against Syria’s Government, the anti-Assad fighters whom Erdogan authentically has been obsessed to kill).

The very next day, on September 11th, Paul Mansfield at Syria News headlined “Erdogan Buys Time for Terrorists at the Tehran Summit” and he observed that

The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah released the components of Turkey’s plan for Idlib. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out it effectively means annexing Syrian territory, entrenching Turkish proxy Free Syrian Army forces, while falsely legitimizing their presence through a trilateral agreement, one made (it should be mentioned) without the presence of the country it concerns: Syria.

On 18 September 2018, another of the Turkish regime’s major newspapers, Yeni Safak, headlined “Turkey tells 50,000 FSA fighters to be ready for deployment as tensions rise in Idlib” and reported that,

As the Assad regime and Russian warplanes viciously attack the last opposition-held stronghold of Syria’s Idlib, Turkey ramped up its military reinforcements in northern Syria and instructed over 50,000 Free Syrian Army (FSA) [that being the Turkish-led anti-Assadfighters stationed in Afrin, Azaz, Jarabulus, al-Bab and al-Rai to ‘be ready for military deployment.’”

This anti-Syrian report continued, “The Bashar al-Assad regime recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive in Idlib, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.” It didn’t mention that those “armed opposition groups” were the members of Al Qaeda-led forces defeated elsewhere in Syria who had chosen to be bused by the Syrian Government into the most pro-jihadist Syrian province, Idlib, instead of to be outright shot to death on-the-spot by Syrian troops, where they had been fighting. Such crucial information was left out of Western news-reports.

It went on: “An attack on Syria’s Idlib, the last opposition-held stronghold, would be a massacre,” and (since this newspaper reflected Erdogan’s anti-Assad, meaning anti-Syrian, viewpoint) it alleged that “Russia and Assad regime target civilians” instead of try to exterminate jihadists — especially now in Idlib itself, to which Syria’s Government had, indeed, been busing the surviving defeated jihadists. (As was previously noted, the only alternative that Syria’s Government had had regarding those hold-out fighters would have been simply to go in and slaughter not only them but the human shields behind whom they were fighting, which would have enormously increased the civilian casualties, which the ‘barbaric’ Assad-led Government was always trying to avoid doing. So: that’s how and why so many of the Al Qaeda-led forces came to be collected inside Idlib to begin with.)


Erdogan might be a double-agent here. But how could Turkey be building infrastructure in Syria and not be permanently taking that land? All of those “seems to be” could be wrong, but it’s hard to see how Syria’s Government could accept any such blatant grab of land away from their nation. I had written on 14 September 2018 about Erdogan’s duplicity, headlining “U.S. Protects Al Qaeda in Syria, Proven”:

Erdogan is in both camps — America’s and Russia’s — and playing each side against the other, for what he wants. But he could turn out to be the biggest loser from ‘his’ success here.

If he exterminates Idlib’s jihadists, then the U.S. side will condemn him for it. But if he instead frees those jihadists to return to their home-countries, then both sides will condemn him for having done so.

The biggest apparent ‘winner’ from all this, Erdogan, could thus turn out to be the biggest real loser from it. And the biggest apparent ‘loser’ from it, Assad, could turn out to be the biggest real winner from it.

Then, three days later, on September 17th, I argued that the big winners from this will probably be Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani, and Assad. The headline of that was “Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ as I Recommended”, and the basic case was presented that this would turn out to be only a feint on Erdogan’s part, and that he and Putin and Rouhani (and Assad) would all benefit from this feint by Erdogan, and take home the win. It still could be that. But only Erdogan himself probably knows. And who can read his mind? The main sign I would look at is whether Putin and Rouhani just ignore, as much as possible, Turkey’s ‘seizures’ of Idlib and of the most-jihadist parts of Aleppo province bordering Idlib to Idlib’s immediate east. (For example, this fundamentalist-Sunni family from Sweida — which is perhaps the most pro-jihadist southern province — migrated during the war to Al-Bab, which is Turk-controlled.) If Putin and Rouhani ignore Turkey’s solidification of its control over those areas of northwestern Syria, then this is how the U.S. side and proxy forces — jihadists and Kurdish fanatics — might lose in Syria, and be forced out of there. This Turkish ‘win’ would entail a loss for both the U.S. and its proxy-forces, especially the Kurds. But it would also entail Syria’s loss of the areas that were always the greatest thorn in Assad’s side. In that case, America’s former proxy-forces in northwest Syria — Al Qaeda’s surviving Syrian forces, plus the separatist Kurdish forces — would henceforth be under Erdogan’s control. If Putin, Rouhani and Assad won’t object to that, then the main loser could be the U.S. regime, which would cede to Erdogan not only America’s last holdout in Syria but also all of its proxy-forces in Syria, henceforth to be totally subject to whatever Erdogan has in mind for them. However, the biggest losers could still be the Turkish and the American regimes. But that would be true only if the surrounded U.S. forces in Syria’s northeast become forced out. If the U.S. occupation stays in Syria, then the U.S. and Turkey will have taken all of northern Syria. But no oil or gas is there, either. (It’s south of there.) What, consequently, is this war even about, any longer? Is it about contending national leaders who refuse to acknowledge defeat? Is that now the only real reason for all of this ongoing death, and destruction? Is it just pure ego?

If Turkey quits NATO, then the biggest loser from the end-part of the Syrian war would be the U.S. and its allies. But, of course, the biggest losers from the entire war are the Syrian people. There’s no doubt, whatsoever, about that.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


The story of Hezbollah anti-aircraft missile


July 13, 2019

TEHRAN –Secretary-General of Hezbollah Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah revealed two strategic surprises for the military and intelligence services of the West, especially the Zionists in the anniversary of 33-day Israeli war.

July 12 marked the 13th anniversary of the beginning of the 33-day Israeli regime’s war on Lebanon that resistance group, Hezbollah, managed to defeat the Zionist enemy by preventing it from achieving any of its targets. Secretary-General of Hezbollah Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region. There are notable points in his speech which are extremely impressive in terms of achieving a military transformation in Hezbollah as follow:

-The resistance today is more powerful than before. Capabilities of Radwan Force and Al-Abbas Brigades will be shown more in future wars.

-It is not comparable to 13 years ago in the field of advanced weapons as well as missiles with pinpoint accuracy in both quality and quantity.

-Increasing intelligence superiority not only on the land but also in sea and air fields over the regime.

-The most strategic area of Israel; the ‘Israeli’ coast is under the resistance’s fire, including the 70-km long ‘Israeli’ coast starting from Netanya and ending by Ashdod which includes the most strategic Israeli sites (Ben Gurion airport, arms depots, petrochemical plants, Tel Aviv and Ashdod ports). Any possible war will result in vast destruction of occupied lands which are considered as heart of the regime.

-The ability to seize and recapture areas of occupied Palestine, including the important area of  Galilee.

-Possibility of having an anti-aircraft missile is the most important issues of Hezbollah which is the strategic surprise for the military and intelligence services of the Zionists.

The main mission of the Zionist intelligence and military services during the Syrian war was to prevent transfer of missiles or, more importantly, advanced missile technology to Hezbollah. The Zionist has targeted any places or caravan which were likely to transfer missiles to Hezbollah during these years. Therefore, the first question for world’s intelligence and military services is now how advanced anti-aircraft missiles have been transmitted to Hezbollah?!

In recent years, Israel has been struggling to compensate for its military defeats by air strikes of its advanced aircrafts. In this regards, Nasrallah believes that the air force will not determine the war’s conclusion. In other words, Hezbollah has now been able to probably undermine the latest strategic military superiority of the Zionist regime.

But perhaps one of the most sophisticated messages from Nasrallah’s speeches is the response to Netanyahu’s recent threat of using advanced military aircraft such as the F35 to attack some of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Over the past years, the Zionist regime has repeatedly emphasized that it is able to target Iran’s nuclear facilities by using its own aircraft without U.S. support, like attacking some of the nuclear facilities of Syria in the past. It means that Nasrallah has transmitted this strategic message to the threat of Netanyahu’s air strike to Iran that Hezbollah would down the Israel’s aircraft if necessary. Israel’s aircraft cannot target any parts of Iran as Iran’s air force has downed the U.S. advanced drone last weeks.

Sayyed Nasrallah Confident of Victory: I Have Big Hope that We Will Pray in Al-Quds! -UPDATED

July 13, 2019

Marwa Haidar

Stressing that the nation is witnessing the era of victories, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah voiced confidence that the resistance will deal the Zionist entity a terrible defeat in the future war, voicing big hope that he will be one of those who will pray in Al-Quds.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar, Sayyed Nasrallah called on Israeli officials no to boast over their saying that the Zionist forces will “return Lebanon to Stone Age”.

On the thirteenth anniversary of July war in 2006, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the resistance today is more powerful than before; presenting its developed capabilities which he said will bring the Zionist entity to the “verge of vanishing”.Image result for Sayyed Nasrallah Confident of Victory:

Reiterating his well-known saying that ‘Israel’ is weaker than a spider web, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Israeli enemy has failed to rebuild trust in its military capabilities, stressing that the Israeli commanders fear the resistance and don’t dare to start a war with Lebanon.

In a move that raised eyebrows upon the Zionist entity, Sayyed Nasrallah presented a map of occupied Palestine. The map showed dozens of Israeli targets to be hit by Hezbollah in any future war.

His eminence stressed that the Israeli coast which includes many strategic sites is under Hezbollah’s fire.

“Hezbollah at minimum is capable of inflicting huge destruction upon the Zionist entity.”

Sayyed Nasrallah meanwhile, said that Hezbollah fighters have become expert and well-prepared for the invasion of Galilee, noting that the resistance leadership has prepared several scenarios for such move.

On the other hand, he described as failed the summit which took place in Bahrain last month, stressing that the US President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘deal of the century’ is doomed to failure.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the Palestinian refugees reject to cede their land or to be naturalized.

Concerning the Lebanese borders demarcation, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the issue is the responsibility of the Lebanese state, voicing support to the government in such battle with the Zionist entity.

His eminence described what happened in Syria up till now as a great victory, noting that the Syrian state is recovering, but noting that there are other issues that are still not solved.

On Hezbollah presence in Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance movement has reduced its troop presence, noting that redeployment can be made when needed.

Hezbollah S.G. ruled out confrontation between Iran and the US, noting that Washington knows very well that the war with the Islamic Republic costs highly.

Sayyed Nasrallah also warned that such a war between Iran and the US will have dangerous repercussion on the entire region, including Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Zionist entity.

His eminence meanwhile, revealed that Ansarullah revolutionary movement processes missiles that can reach the entire Saudi and Emirati territories, but noted that the Yemeni group only wants the war to stop.

On the Lebanese local developments, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah’s call for calm, referring to the shooting which targeted the convoy of a Lebanese minister in Mount Lebanon earlier this month.

Sayyed Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah will go ahead with counter-corruption campaign.

His eminence stressed meanwhile, that in face of US sanctions and blacklisting of Hezbollah lawmakers and officials, the resistance’s only choice is steadfastness.

‘Deterrence Balance’

Sayyed Nasrallah started the interview by congratulating al those who contributed to the divine victory “on top of which are the martyrs’ families, the injured and all the elements of the golden tripartite: the army, the resistance and the people.”Image result for Sayyed Nasrallah Confident of Victory:

His eminence said that deterrence equations set by the resistance with the Zionist entity since July war in 2006 have been consolidated, stressing that the “security which we witness in Lebanon nowadays is made by the Lebanese people themselves, thanks to their unity.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said that throughout 13 years and despite all pressures on the resistance, Hezbollah managed to develop its capabilities in all means.

“We have game-changing offensive weapons, along with human capabilities represented by Radwan Force and Al-Abbas Brigades (elite forces).”

“Our weapons have been developed in both quality and quantity, we have precision missiles and drones,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, stressing that Israeli commanders fear such capabilities.

The resistance leader did not give a clear answer if Hezbollah has anti-aircraft missiles.

“Who said we have (such weapon) and who said we don’t have, in this regard we adopt policy based on constructive ambiguity.”

‘Vulnerable Israeli Home Front’

Talking about the Israeli weak points, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Israeli commanders failed to find solution to the issue of its home front’s vulnerability.

“This front was detached from any war. However, July war took the battle into the Israeli home front. The resistance is more capable today to target and inflict losses upon the Israeli home front.”

All the Israeli attempts to rebuild trust in the Israeli home front have failed, Sayed Nasrallah said, noting that the Israeli military had staged in the latest years so many drill.

“But the Israeli enemy acknowledges that its human capabilities have deteriorated, and all know that the Israeli air force can’t make it alone in any war.”

His eminence referred to the Israeli threat of ‘returning Lebanon to the Stone Age’.

“I advise Israeli commanders to avoid war rhetoric since such rhetoric underestimates Lebanon.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated his well-known saying which he announced in the southern town of Bint Jbeil in 2000: ‘Israel’ is weaker than a spider web.’

“Today I’m a firmer believer of this saying,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.

The Map

Image result for Sayyed Nasrallah Confident of Victory:

Answering a question about the Israeli targets which would be hit in any coming war, Sayyed Nasrallah held a map showing the occupied Palestinian territories.السيد نصر الله: اي حرب جديدة ستضع اسرائيل على حافة الزوال

“The entire ‘Israeli’ north is under the resistance’s fire and the most strategic area is the ‘Israeli’ coast,” he said.

“The 70‐km long ‘Israeli’ coast starting from Netanya and ending by Ashdod is under the resistance fire, this area includes the most strategic Israeli sites (Ben Gurion airport, arms depots, petrochemical plants, Tel Aviv and Ashdod ports),” he elaborated.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that the Israeli enemy today doesn’t dare to carry out any strike against Lebanon.

“Hezbollah at minimum is capable to inflict huge destruction on the Zionist entity. Our fighters have become expert and well-prepared for the invasion of Galilee, we have several scenarios in this regards.

On the other hand Sayyed Nasrallah ruled out a war with the Zionist entity in the near future: “Such war will put the Israelis on the verge of vanishing.”

‘We’ll Pray in Al-Quds’

Asked if he is confident of the victory in any upcoming war with the Zionist entity, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “I’m certain of the victory, God is with us.”

Marmal Asked Sayyed Nasrallah if he believes that liberation of Palestine will be achieved by his generation, his children’s generation or by grandchildren’s generation

Answering this question Sayyed Nasrallah said: “The ages are in the hand of Allah, but based on logic, I have big hope that we will pray in Al-Quds.”

‘Deal of the Century’

Noting that the Zionist entity relies on Western support and Arab states’ collaboration, Sayyed Nasrallah said the ‘deal of the century’ is doomed to failure since it lacks factors of success

“The US has fired the last bullet at the ‘deal of the century’ by recognizing Al-Quds as the Israeli capital.”

“They (US and allies) won’t achieve their goals because of the united Palestinian stance towards the ‘deal of the century’, Iran’s support and Syria’s victory.”

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that no Arab state can bear the repercussions of the ‘deal of the century since the deal means the explicit abandoning of the nation’s holy sites. He also cited media reports which said that quoted Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner’s acknowledgment that the Bahrain summit had failed.

He pointed to huge pressures exerted by the US administration on the Palestinians over the ‘deal of the century’.

Regarding settling the Palestinian refugees, Sayyed Nasrallah said the issue “is neither related to Trump nor to Kushner, it’s related to the countries which are hosting the refugees.”

“Palestinian refugees in Lebanon refuse ceding their land as well as their settling.”

Border Demarcation

On the issue of demarcation of Lebanese land and maritime borders, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah stands after the Lebanese government and its role is only supportive, pointing to the big role of Speaker Nabih Berri in this regard.

Related imageHis eminence noted that the talks on border demarcation are obstructed because the Zionist entity refuses Lebanese government’s insistence that the negotiation should be under the auspices of the United and the Nations and that the US takes the mediator role.

“If the talks are under the auspices of the US and not the UN, then Washington will exert all its efforts to meet the Israeli demands,” Sayyed Nasrallah warned.

His eminence also stressed the importance of discussing the land border in parallel with the issue of maritime border, noting that Speaker Berri insists on relating the two issues.

“When it comes to our Lebanese land we say this is our territory and the Israeli enemy won’t dare to get into it.”

‘Syria Victory’

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that what has happened in Syria “is a great victory for the Axis of Resistance and a terrible defeat for the other camp.”

He said that the Syrian state is recovering, but noted that there have been some stalling issues including Idlib and east of Euphrates River along with the political settlement.

He noted that the Syrian government hasn’t requested Hezbollah’s engagement in the battle taking place in Idlib.

On the relation with Russia regarding the presence in Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said the the Lebanese resistance movement deals with Russia as a friend, but stressed that the coordination only takes place with the Syrian defense ministry.

Answering a question on Hezbollah’s military presence in Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance has reduced its troop presence in the war-torn country, noting that “when it’s needed” Hezbollah can make some redeployment there.

Commenting on reports on Iran’s withdrawal from Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said such move is not in Russia’s interest.

Hezbollah S.G. meanwhile, said that the Zionist entity always carries out strikes in Syria; noting that the latest attack was similar to others which targeted non-strategic targets.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah warned the Israeli enemy of taking risk by striking Syria. He addressed Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu as saying: “Do whatever you want… Iran won’t withdraw from Syria.”

Meanwhile, his eminence revealed that regular meetings always take place with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

“I always meet President Bashar Al-Assad but I don’t say the time of such meetings due to security reasons.”

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated a previous threat that if any member of Hezbollah is killed in Syria, the resistance will retaliate in Lebanon.

“This equation is still working.”

Noting that the situation will change when the S-300 missiles will become operational in Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah warned the Israeli enemy against “playing with the verge of abyss.”

“If the Israeli enemy carries out an unbearable strike in Syria, the Syrian leadership then may have other calculations.”

US, Iran Standoff

Stressing that Iran will not start a war with the US, Sayyed Nasrallah ruled out a similar move by Washington, saying that the White House knows very well that such move has a high cost.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted here that Trump relies on economic pressure on Iran.

However, Hezbollah S.G. did not rule out that events may escalate between the two sides, noting meanwhile that both Iran and the US will work to contain any escalation.

Referring to Iran’s downing of US spy drone, Sayyed Nasrallah dismissed Trump’s allegations that he stopped Iran strike after he was told that such strike would kill 150 people.

His eminence revealed that what really stopped the US strike on Iran is a message delivered from Tehran to the US through a third party.

“The message said that if the US strikes any Iranian target, Iran will hit US targets,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Iran won’t stage direct talks with the US, noting that this issue is agreed upon by all Iranian officials.

He said that the Iranians are open to all international efforts aimed at finding solution to the nuclear issue, but that Tehran insists that the US has to lift sanctions first.

On the possibility of having dialogue between Iran and regional countries, Sayyed Nasrallah said this move is interest of the entire region, and that the Islamic Republic ready to such step.

Asked about Hezbollah’s stance of dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Sayyed Nasrallah said that although Lebanon was hurt by the Saudis, we don’t reject such move.

“Even the Yemenis, who have been for years crushed by the Saudis, don’t reject dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Just one side fully rejects this step: Netanyahu.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that if a war breaks out between Iran and the US, then no country will be safe.

“Any state that will participate in the war on Iran will pay high price,” Sayyed Nasrallah threatened, referring to the Zionist entity, Saudi Arabia and UAE, noting that the Axis of Resistance won’t keep mum in case of war.


Sayyed Nasrallah said that Yemeni revolutionary forces are capable of widening the targeted area by their drone and missile attacks.

“Yemenis can hit any target across Saudi Arabia and UAE, but they don’t want escalation. All what they want is for this war to stop.”

Local Politics

Commenting on the shooting which targeted the convoy of minister Saleh al-Gharib earlier this month, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah seeks de-escalation, lashing out at those who accuse Hezbollah of seeking discord within Druze.

“The incident was grave, and we were part of the de-escalation attempts. Accusations that Hezbollah seeks discord within Druze sect are immoral.”

“Local stability serves our interest. It’s normal to stand by our ally,” referring to Head of Druze Lebanese Democratic Party, Tal Arslan, whom minister Al-Gharib belongs to his party.

Al-Gharib’s two bodyguards were killed during the shooting which took place in Mount Lebanon on June 30.

On the relation between Hezbollah and the Head of Druze Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), Walid Jumblatt, Sayyed Nasrallah said the dispute between the two sides is great since 2005.

Sayyed Nasrallah elaborated on the disputed issues between Hezbollah and the PSP, stressing that Jumblatt’s remarks that Shebaa Farms are not Lebanese is fault.

Hezbollah S.G. meanwhile, stressed that the relation with President Michel Aoun and Free Patriotic Movement’s Head MP Gibran Bassil is excellent.

Commenting on US’ move to put Hezbollah MPs, Mohammad Raad Amin Sherri, along with Hezbollah senior official, Wafiq Safa, on sanctions blacklist, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Hezbollah officials congratulate such moves when they take place.

His eminence dismissed US envoy to Iran, Brian Hook’s remarks that sanctions on Iran have been putting pressure on Hezbollah.

“The sanctions have impact yes, but we are people of “Humiliation… Never” and we have several options to deal with the issue.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then praised resistance sacrifices, saying: “The resistance by a small number of martyrs is making honorable life for a whole nation.”

Addressing the resistance crowds who have been tweeting and posting on social media ahead of the interview, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “I love you and I feel proud of you.”

His eminence then concluded the interview by stressing that “the era of victory has come!”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Trump Seeks to Open Channels with Hezbollah, “Israel” Could be Wiped in Any Regional War

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah advised the “Israeli” leaders not to talk any more about returning Lebanon to the Stone Age.

In a Friday interview with Al-Manar channel, Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated the Lebanese celebrating 13 years on the Divine Victory, the 2006 July war with “Israel”.

Hezbollah Surprises to “Israel”

To the “Israelis”, His Eminence sent a clear message: “In the next war with “Israel” we will have surprises in land, air and sea.”

“The resistance is able attack the whole “Israeli” entity, reaching Eilat,” he  reiterated, noting that he is  “confident of victory” and that ““Israel” is weaker than spider-web.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further stated: “Since 2006, Lebanon has been living in a state of security that the Lebanese have created by their unity.”

“The resistance is stronger than ever,” His Eminence declared, explaining:  “In 2006, our offensive capability was limited, but today we have an offensive force at the infantry level armed with qualitative weapons.”

As His Eminence moved to unveil some of the Islamic Resistance capabilities, he sent a clear message to “Israel’s” military, leaders and settlers. “The Zionist entity would be brought to the verge of vanishing, and it knows this.”

“We have a number of missiles larger than 2006 and we have precise missiles that we did not have in 2006. We also have a large and powerful branch of UAVs,” Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled,

Presenting a map of occupied Palestinian territories, Sayyed Nasrallah uncovered some potential targets in any coming war. “The resistance is able to target the entire coastal strip area with a depth of 20 km and a length of 60 to 70 km in which there are government centers, nuclear plants and ports,” he announced.

Sayyed Nasrallah also asked: “Can the “Israeli” entity survive or endure our capabilities?”

According to the Resistance leader, “The Zionists said that if the tanks of ammonia were hit in Haifa, the number of casualties is very large.”

“The “Israeli” will refrain from launching a raid on Lebanon because he is afraid of the resistance,” he viewed, noting that “the resistance is capable of bringing “Israel” back to the Stone Age by destroying the area that is under the range of our missiles.”

On the same level, the Resistance Leader predicted that “any war will be bigger than the 2006 war for “Israel” and it will put it on the brink of extinction.”

In parallel, His Eminence reiterated that “the invasion of Galilee is part of the war plan.”

Moreover, he highlighted that “due to the state of deterrence, it is ruled out that the “Israeli” will initiate a war.”

Answering a question on the effect of his death on Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “The resistance is not limited to a person; it works as an institution and every person has an influence.”

Praying At Al-Aqsa

On the same level, the Resistance Leader highlighted that  “Life and death are in the hands of God,” noting that “yet logic points to me that I will personally pray at Al-Aqsa mosque.”

Expressing confidence of Hezbollah’s ability to “achieve victory in any coming confrontation,” Sayyed Nasrallah shed light on some “Israeli” failures.

“The confidence of the army leaders in their forces and the military leadership in the their political leadership and vice versa is missing,” he emphasized, declaring that Hezbollah has an infantry force that possesses special capabilities.

Back to 2006, His Eminence explained that “The July war transferred the battle to the enemy’s territory,” stressing that “ Today, the resistance is stronger than any other time in its ability to target the enemy’s home front.”

“The “Israeli” admits that there is significant decline in the strength and power of their ground forces,” he confirmed, reminding that “ the confidence crisis within the enemy as a result of Gaza failure has deepened.”

Once again, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “The resistance is stronger than ever despite the sanctions and it improved its capabilities greatly over the past 13 years, and this has been acknowledged by the “Israelis”.”

“The “Israeli” talk about returning Lebanon to the Stone Age is a mockery and underestimation of Lebanon,” reminding that Hezbollah  can target entire “Israel” with its firepower

To the friend and enemy, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Message was clear: “I am convinced that “Israel” is weaker than a spider’s web and I have scientific evidence to that.”

On the importance of the resistance media, he stressed that “it is very influential in making results and events.”

Deal of Century will Fail

Moving to another title,  Sayyed Nasrallah expected that “the “deal of the century” will fail.”

“One of the most important elements of the deal of the century’s failure is Al-Quds,” he added, noting that “The global arrogance fired a bullet of mercy on the deal of the century when it considered that Occupied Al-Quds is the capital of the occupying entity.”

Moreover, His Eminence hailed “both the unity of the Palestinian position and the steadfastness of Iran that formed important factors in front of the deal of the century’s implementation.”

“There is not a single Palestinian who will agree to a deal in which the Christian and Muslim holy sites of al-Quds will be transferred to Israel,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

“The martyrs who fell in Syria and the victory in Iraq are from the factors that prevent the implementation of the deal of the century,” he said, pointing out that “the Yemeni sacrifices and the strength of the resistance axis are among the main reasons for not implementing the deal of the century.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “the absence of a strong Arab state capable of carrying the deal of the century on its back prevents from its implementation.”

Demacratation and More

On a similar note, he was clear enough: “No one can impose naturalization on Lebanon if there is Lebanese consensus against it.”

Commenting the talk of demarcation between Lebanon and the apartheid “Israeli” entity, Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that “If the sponsor of the demarcation negotiations is the American, forget about it.”

“The term of land demarcation is wrong because demarcating is already done,” he explained, noting that “Our land borders are demarcated and there is a technical dispute on some meters.”

He further highlighted that “Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri insists that land and sea demarcation coincide starting from Naqoura because it clarifies maritime borders.”

“If we define our maritime borders, the occupying entity will not dare to breach them,” His Eminence vowed, noting that “Lebanon is not weak, but some Lebanese are weak.”

According to him, “There is no logic in discussing maritime borders without settling the land borders. There are oil companies that are ready to work in the areas determined by Lebanon within its territory.”

Presence in Syria

On the Syrian front, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that his party has “redeployed and downsized our forces in Syria due to the improved security situation.”

He also clarified that “decreasing our numbers in Syria has nothing to do with American sanctions and we’re ready to return in large numbers if needed,” noting that Hezbollah hasn’t evacuated complete areas in Syria and we are still in all the areas where we were.

“The time has not come for Hezbollah’s full withdrawal from Syria,” he added, pointing out that “The party we are coordinating with in Syria is the Syrian military leadership, not the Russian one.”

Commenting on the recent “Israeli” strikes on Syria, His Eminence stressed that “it hasn’t targeted against important places. The result of the “Israeli” bombardment of Syria is “nothing” in military logic.”

“I do not think there is a return in Syria, and there is still the issue of East Euphrates and Idlib only,” His Eminence stressed, pointing out that “if something new emerged, we can easily transfer troops from Lebanon to Syria.”

Praising the fact that “there is a great coordination between the Russian and the Iranian in Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that ““Israel’s” strikes will not lead to expelling Iran from Syria and they are risky for “Israel”.”

“Iran will not withdraw from Syria,” he clearly stated, noting that “the equation of responding to “Israel” if it targeted any Hezbollah element in Syria is still valid.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further explained some aspects of the Syrian refrain from responding to “Israel”, “The priority in Syria is to confront armed groups and Syria is facing “Israeli” aggression through air defenses.”

Meanwhile, he urged the Russians “to prevent the Zionist air force from targeting Syria.”

“The Syrians are training on the S300 and when they are ready to use it, the situation will be different,” His Eminence elaborated, uncovering that “[President Bashar] Al-Assad and I always meet, but won’t reveal any dates due to security.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also said: “[Our] growth in human numbers has been very large. Our numbers have doubled and there was development also out in the field, especially inside Syria. The ground forces are trained at a high level.”

Trump Wants to Talk to Us

Uncovering that Trump’s administration is seeking to open channels of communication with Hezbollah, he highlighted that “Trump’s administration has designated 3rd parties to reach out to Hezbollah in Lebanon and is dying for Iran to negotiate with him. It won’t happen.”

US-Iran, and The Talk of War

Ruling out that America might launch a war on Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the latest escalation between Iran and the US: “Strikes and counter-strikes might happen, but the two parties will seek to contain the situation.”

“I rule out that America heads to war against Iran and America knows that the war is expensive,” he said, pointing out that “the Iranians sent a message via a third nation on the day the drone was downed, saying they would retaliate against US targets in the event of a US strike. The Iranian message arrived shortly before Trump’s decision, and the latter’s position was to “stop the response”.”

However, His Eminence reiterated that “Iran will not negotiate with America directly and this is the position of all officials in Iran.”

“Who will pay the price for a war on Iran? “Israel” and Al Saud?” he wondered, warning that “Iran will readily bomb “Israel” if war breaks out against it. “Israel” won’t be aside in any coming war. In any war on Iran, the whole region will ignite. “Israel” might even be annihilated.”

Responding to those betting on the sanctions, Sayyed Nasrallah stated: “Iran will not kneel, but these sanctions will push the Iranians to strengthen their domestic production.”

“Iran is now open to any dialogue with Saudi Arabia, but the problem is in the other side, which has settled its options,” he declared, pointing out that  “It is our responsibility in the region to prevent the US war on Iran because everyone agrees that it is destructive. What prevents the US from going to war is that its interests in the entire region are in danger.”

“Is it in the interest of the region to go to a devastating war? Is it in the interest of the UAE to have a devastating war in the Gulf? Certainly they will not accept it. Does the Saudi have an interest in the war as he knows that they will not be able to confront Iran? What will be left of UAE’s glass towers if war breaks out? If the UAE was destroyed when the war broke out, would that be in the interests of the Emirate rulers and people?” His Eminence asked.

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say that “Any country that will be a partner in the war against Iran or offer its territory to attack Iran will pay the price, noting that “a threat to destroy Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot deter the US from waging a war on Iran, but rather the threat to attack its forces in the region and “Israel”.”

On the Yemeni front,  the Resistance leader hinted that “Ansarullah can bomb most airports in Saudi Arabia and many facilities in UAE. Ansarullah are escalating gradually. It seems that UAE understands this and is reassessing, but not clear if full or partial withdrawal Yemen. They lost we welcome their re-assessment, and we call on Saudi to do the same.”

On the new US sanctions on Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “The new issue in the US sanctions is enlisting two deputies as this is considered an abuse of the parliament.”

“The enemy has two choices: either war, and it’s not capable of it or sanctions, but in return we are more confident ,” he added.

To Continue Fighting Corruption

Moving to the internal arena, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that “Hezbollah will continue the long and difficult battle of corruption on the internal front.”

Meanwhile, he urged calmness after Qabrshmoun incident announcing Hezbollah’s standing by its ally MP Talal Arslan.

“From the very first moments after the Qabrshmoun incident, we started our contacts to pacify the situation,”Sayyed Nasrallah revealed, reiterating that “stability in Lebanon is in our interest.”

In addition, he refused  claims that Hezbollah “wants to blow up the Druze arena” describing them as “immoral.”

Describing Arslan’s call for referring the incident to the Judicial Council as “logical,” Sayyed Nasrallah said “the decision is in our ally’s hand and we stand by him.”

His Eminence further praised Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s wise decision to postpone the latest cabinet session.

“We are against the suspension of the cabinet,” he said.

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US Congress Limits Trump’s Ability to Strike Iran

By Staff, Agencies

The US Congress voted on Friday to put a liberalized stamp on Pentagon policy, including a bipartisan proposal to limit US President Donald Trump’s authority to strike the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The measure passed along party lines after a series of votes that pushed it further to the left. Among them was a 251-170 tally to require Trump get authorization from Congress to conduct military strikes against Iran, along with a repeal of a 2002 law authorizing the war in Iraq.

More than two dozen Republicans joined with Democrats on the Iran vote. Trump last month came within minutes of launching a missile strike against Iran after Tehran downed an intruding US spy drone over Hormozgan Province.

The broader measure passed by a 220-197 vote after several other provisions were tacked on by the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, which had been upset by leadership’s handling of a border bill last month.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration promised to veto the House measure. The Senate passed its own bill last month. Lawmakers will try to reconcile the competing versions in what could be lengthy negotiations given the differences.

Nasrallah says all of Israel is within range of Hezbollah’s missiles

Press TV
The video grab shows Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during an interview with Al-Manar television on July 12, 2019.
The video grab shows Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during an interview with Al-Manar television on July 12, 2019.

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says all of Israel is within the range of the missiles of the group, adding that the resistance movement is stronger than ever despite Western sanctions.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks during a televised interview with Hezbollah’s al-Manar television on Friday on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

“Once we said that we could strike targets south of Haifa. Today, we can say that if Israel has sites south of Eilat, then we can also hit them. All of Israel is under the range of our missiles,” he said.

The Hezbollah leader, while presenting the group’s developed capabilities, warned that in case of any confrontation, the Zionist entity would be brought to the “verge of vanishing, and it knows this.”

“We have a larger number of missiles and we have precise missiles that we did not have in 2006. We also have a large and powerful branch of UAVs,” Hezbollah’s chief further said.

Then, he held up a map of Israeli-occupied territories to the camera, pointing to potential targets for Hezbollah’s attacks.

“There is an area 70 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide … we can destroy it all,” Nasrallah said.

However, he said a war with Israel was unlikely to happen anytime soon, stressing that Israel will not risk another war on Lebanon thanks to Hezbollah’s deterrent force.

Nasrallah also said that he had deep hope that “we will pray in al-Quds [Mosque compound]” and that he was “certain of victory in any future war, God is with us.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Hezbollah leader blasted US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the century, as a means to solve the decades-long conflict between Palestinians and the Israeli regime, stressing the proposal is doomed to fail.

The US killed the initiative after it recognized the whole Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

“The deal took its last breath when Trump recognized al-Quds as the capital of Israel. There is not a single Palestinian who will agree to a deal in which the Christian and Muslim holy sites of al-Quds will be transferred to Israel,” Nasrallah said.


US bid to sanction China shows its failed policy toward Iran: Analyst


Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:54AM

A move by the United States to impose sanctions against China for importing crude oil from Iran shows Washington has failed in its “maximum pressure policy toward” the Islamic Republic, says a political analyst.

Senior Donald Trump administration officials are pushing sanctions against China claiming the Asian power defied American sanctions when it imported more than a million barrels of crude oil from Iran last month, according to three US officials.

The US State Department had considered using an Obama-era loophole to issue a waiver allowing Chinese companies to receive Iranian oil as payment for their investment in an Iranian oil field, violating the Trump administration’s earlier pledge to bring Iranian oil exports down to zero. The plan, however, has been discarded.

Now, hawkish officials on the US National Security Council are considering imposing sanctions on Chinese entities amid already worsening ties between the two countries on trade issues, the Politico website reported on Thursday.

This move “illustrates the bankruptcy of America’s maximum pressure policy toward Iran,” James Jatras, a former Senate foreign policy adviser in Washington, told Press TV on Friday.

“Threatening sanctions against china is not a small thing and I think that’s one reason some people within the administration were anxious to avoid it.”

He went on to say that the Trump administration officials “cannot come to grips with is that they are overextending American power and credibility by threatening things that they simply are not in a position to carry out.”

The Trump administration has been trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero to increase “maximum pressure” on Tehran. It has had some success in persuading several of Iran’s largest oil buyers like India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey to curb their purchases but it could not achieve its stated objective of bringing Iran’s crude exports to zero.

As Iran’s largest oil buyer, China has defied the Trump administration’s demand that it gradually bring the imports to zero. Some of the countries, which have robust trade, diplomatic and security relationship with the US, are still buying significant volumes of Iranian oil.

Much of the rhetoric from the State Department has specified that the US is targeting purchases — rather than imports — of Iranian oil, a distinction that will become important under the law if the department decides to give China a pass.

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