May 9, 2013
Assad vows ‘strategic revenge’ on Israel, modeled on Hezbollah
Syria will “give Hezbollah everything” in recognition of its support and will follow the terror group’s model of “resistance” against Israel, a Lebanese newspaper on Thursday quoted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as saying, AFP reported.
Assad’s comments, published by Al-Akhbar, reportedly came during meetings with Lebanese visitors in Damascus and appeared intended to refute any suggestion that last week’s reported Israeli airstrikes on Syrian targets would halt assistance to the Shiite group Hezbollah in Lebanon. Al-Akhbar said Lebanese visitors quoted Assad as expressing “confidence, satisfaction and great gratitude towards Hezbollah.”
Iranian-backed Hezbollah is a longtime ally of the Syrian regime and has sent fighters to battle alongside Assad’s troops, particularly in the Qusayr district of the central province of Homs. Assad said Syria would reward Hezbollah for its loyalty.
Assad said Syria could “easily” respond to Israeli airstrikes by “firing a few rockets at Israel,” but Syria instead was seeking “strategic revenge, by opening the door of resistance and turning all of Syria into a country of resistance.”