Nasrallah: Hezbollah Getting Precision Rockets Despite Israeli Actions

Days after Israeli strike in Syria, Hezbollah chief says efforts to cut smuggling routes are pointless

Jack Khoury
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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gives an interview on al-Manar TV, September 19, 2018.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gives an interview on al-Manar TV, September 19, 2018.Credit: AFP
Jack Khoury

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Thursday that his group is getting precision rockets despite Israeli actions to cut smuggling routes through Syria.

Israel on Monday attacked a facility near the coastal Syrian city of Latakia, which it said was used by the Syrian military to transfer weapons manufacturing systems to Iran and Hezbollah.

"No matter what you do to cut the route, the matter is over and the resistance possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities," Nasrallah said, addressing Israel in a broadcast speech.

Satellite image shows damage caused by alleged Israeli missile strike on targets near Syria's Latakia.Credit: ImageSat International

"If Israel imposes a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a fate and a reality it has never expected on any day," Nasrallah said, adding that Israel is aware that technology alone cannot be decisive in a war.

Israel was forced to make a rare admission that it was behind the attack on Tuesday after a Russian jet was downed on Monday by Syrian aerial defenses, killing 15 troops.

Satellite images released Wednesday evening revealed the destruction caused by the strike.

An Israeli military statement held Syria fully responsible for the incident, saying that Syrian anti-aircraft batteries fired indiscriminately, "and from what we understand, did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Israel was not responsible. "It looks like a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn't shoot down our jet," he said.

The Russian Embassy in Israel, however, on Thursday wrote on Twitter that "Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force,which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to death of 15 servicemen."

This statement echoed one made by Russia's Defense Ministry on Tuesday, which accused Israeli military planes of creating a "dangerous" situation in Latakia. The Defense Ministry said 15 Russian military service people died because of Israel's "irresponsible actions."

An Israeli delegation headed by Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, was heading to Moscow Thursday in an attempt to ease the tensions caused by the downing of the Russian plane while trying to thwart an Israeli airstrike on Syrian port city Latakia.

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