Hezbollah militia leader says to stay in Syria
Date: 2018-06-09 11:56
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militia will remain in Syria as long as Bashar al-Assad wants it there, Nasrallah said on Friday (June 8), defying renewed US and Israeli pressure to force Tehran and its allies to quit the country.
“I will tell you that if the whole world comes together to force us to leave Syria, they will not be able to evict us,” Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address, adding that only the Assad regime could ask them to leave.
Israel has repeatedly struck Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria, saying they must leave the country, with which it shares a border. Washington has also demanded that Iran and forces it back quit.
Alongside Russia, Iran-backed forces in Syria have helped Assad drive opposition forces from the country’s biggest cities.
Russia has recently called for all non-Syrian forces to leave southern Syria, a statement seen as partly aimed at Iran.
This week, a Russian troop deployment near the border with Lebanon caused friction with Iran-backed forces there including Hezbollah, a rare case of Assads’ allies acting out of sync with each other, though it was soon resolved.