Hezbollah is a model of resistance against Israel, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was quoted by a Lebanese newspaper as telling a group of Lebanese visitors in Damascus. Assad said that Syria will “give Hezbollah everything” in recognition of its support.
Assad’s comments, published by Al-Akhbar, appeared intended to refute any suggestion that last week’s reported Israeli airstrikes on Syrian targets would halt Syrian assistance to the Shiite terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“For the first time we feel that we and they are living in the same situation and they are not just an ally we help with resistance,” he said, according to an AFP translation.
“We have decided that we must move forward towards them and turn into a nation of resistance like Hezbollah, for the sake of Syria and future generations.”
Hezbollah is a strong ally of the Assad regime and has sent soldiers to fight alongside it during the country’s current civil war.
Assad was quoted as saying Syria could “easily” respond to Israeli air strikes by “firing a few rockets at Israel.”
“But we want strategic revenge, by opening the door of resistance and turning all of Syria into a country of resistance.”
“After the strike, we are convinced that we are fighting the enemy now, we are pursuing its soldiers deployed throughout our country,” he said, in apparent reference to rebel forces, which the regime has accused of being allied with Israel.