Hezbollah Says Future Israel War Could Draw Hundreds Of Thousands Of Fighters
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday (June 23) that a future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon could draw thousands of fighters from countries including Iran, Iraq and Yemen.
His comments indicated that the same array of Shia militias - but not countries - currently fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad could take part in any future conflict with Israel.
"The Israeli enemy must know that if an Israeli war is launched on Syria or Lebanon, it is not known that the fighting will remain Lebanese-Israeli, or Syrian-Israeli. This doesn't mean there are states that might intervene directly, but this could open the way for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world to participate," Nasrallah said.
Tensions have risen between Hezbollah and its long-time rival Israel in recent months since Donald Trump became U.S. president with his tough talk against Iran.
Israel's air force chief said his country would use all its strength from the start in any new war with Hezbollah.
Nasrallah has repeatedly warned Israel against attacking Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Shi'ite group is based, and from where it sends fighters to support Assad against insurgents. He says Hezbollah's rocket arsenal can hit any military target in Israel, which is Lebanon's southern neighbour.