BEIRUT: If Hezbollah had not gotten embroiled in the war in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) would have taken over Beirut by now, the resistance party's chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned.
“If we [Hezbollah] hadn’t intervened in Syria the right way and at the right time, ISIS would be in Beirut now,” Nasrallah told leaders of Mahdi Scouts, in remarks published Tuesday in As-Safir newspaper.
He questioned the role of “some Gulf and regional countries” in the violence in Iraq and raised doubts about the U.S.’s position on what is going on there.
“Trust me. The magic will turn against the magician,” he warned. “Gone are the days that allowed the demolition of religious sanctities.”
The U.S. administration has signaled that it is willing to enter into talks with Iran over the advance of Islamist insurgents in Iraq.
Nasrallah, nevertheless, lauded the position of the religious authorities in Iraq’s Shiite holy city Najaf, saying their call to arms against terrorists “was not intended to protect a particular sect but to protect the entire Iraq.”
Hezbollah has fought openly alongside the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad against the largely Sunni rebels since the beginning of 2013. Their involvement in the Syrian civil war has drawn considerable criticism from domestic political rivals. The resistance party came under increasing pressure to withdraw after a series of bombings in Lebanon, claimed by Syrian rebels in retaliation for Hezbollah's role in Syria.