BEIRUT - Uncovering a new military and strategic surprise, Hizbullah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has claimed that Hizbullah’s resistance movement was behind a drone infiltration of Israel.
Nasrallah seemed to foreshadow that the issue of unmanned planes will be used again in the future.
The unmanned drone flew for some 30 minutes over Israel coming in from the Mediterranean before it was downed by Israeli warplanes. Israeli strategy analysts had accused Hizbullah, and had considered the event an embarrassment to Israel’s capabilities.
Lebanese strategy experts believe that this declaration shows Hizbullah’s growing military potential and Israel’s weakness in discovering the aircraft.
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that this operation was a milestone in the history of the resistance, and confirmed that the drone was manufactured by Iran, and has been assembled by Hizbullah; which is significant in light of the ongoing talk of a possible Israeli strike against Iran.
Analysts had believed that the plane was on a mission to gather intelligence since it was so close to the Dimona nuclear site, but Sayyed Nasrallah's declaration puts any future war open to all possibilities including the use of such drones by Hizbullah to carry out attacks inside Israel.
Hizbullah's secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has relieved the Israelis of more analysis on who sent the unmanned aircraft over Israel by confirming that Hizbullah has maintained a weapon which could most probably be a significant element in any future confrontation.
Nasrallah denies Hizbullah members fighting with Syrian regime
Nasrallah also denied Thursday reports that members of the Lebanese resistance group were fighting alongside Assad forces and said one of its members was killed in Syria but not in combat.
“Until this moment, we have not fought in Syria and (President Bashar Assad’s) regime has not asked us to do so,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Al-Manar television.
Nasrallah scoffed at reports in the media saying Hizbullah fighters were taking part in the unrest in Lebanon’s neighbor, describing them as “inaccurate” and stemming from intentional fabrication by the Syrian opposition.
“Right from the start the Syrian opposition has been telling the media that Hizbullah sent 3,000 fighters to Syria which we have denied and said is a lie and untrue,” he said.
Last week, Al-Arabiya television released what it claimed were leaked communiqués between Syrian intelligence and the state's leadership. In the documents, references were made to Hizbullah and its alleged activities with the Syrian security apparatus.
Other reports earlier this month claimed a Hizbullah commander was killed in the Syrian border town of Qusayr. Hizbullah says Ali Hussein Nassif, who was buried in his hometown in the Bekaa last week was killed in a Syrian border area inhabited by Lebanese that was frequently the target of bombardment by Syrian rebels.
Nasrallah said the Syrian town, which he did not identify, was among 23 others with mainly Lebanese populations that had armed themselves to fend off attacks by the Free Syrian Army.
However, Nasrallah was quick to note that residents were acting alone and without any involvement from Hizbullah.
“The Lebanese in these border villages inside Syrian territory are fighting all by themselves and no one is fighting on their behalf,” he said.
During his televised speech, Nasrallah also warned the FSA, which on Tuesday said it had detained 13 Hizbullah members and threatened to take the fight to Beirut's southern suburbs unless the Lebanese group ended its support for Assad. “Nobody should threaten us, intimidate or test us,” Nasrallah said.
The Hizbullah chief reiterated his support to the Syrian regime and said it did not need assistance.
Nasrallah's announcement came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Hizbullah of launching the previously unidentified drone.
"We are acting with determination to protect our borders... as we prevented last weekend an attempt by Hizbullah," Netanyahu office quoted him as saying. "We shall continue to act aggressively against all threats."
Nasrallah echoed the Israeli prime minister's sentiment.
"Israel is breaking the law and invading our space all the time. They should get used to us invading their space," he said in his televised speech.
He alleged that Israel had violated Lebanese airspace 20,468 times since August 2006.
-PressTV, Daily Star, Al Jazeera