The head of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah claimed Monday that Israel had lied about the extent of last week’s Iranian rocket strike on the Golan Heights, and said the Israeli military would now think twice about striking Iran’s assets in Syria.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, Iran last week launched 20 rockets toward Israel from Syria, four of which were intercepted and the rest of which fell short of Israeli territory. In response, the air force carried out retaliatory raids that the army said inflicted extensive damage on Iran’s military presence in Syria.
“Israel said that only 20 rockets were fired, some of which were downed, but the truth is that 55 rockets some of which were of heavy caliber were fired at a number of military posts, creating huge explosions that forced all residents in the Golan and some in northern Israel to scramble to bomb shelters in panic,” said Hassan Nasrallah, according to Naharnet.
Nasrallah said the Iranian rocket fire sent a message to Israel that it could no longer carry out airstrikes in Syria with impunity.
“This is one form of the response to Israel’s attacks on Syria. The message that the enemy received was resounding and we are following the Israeli media outlets. The message is that you are mistaken if you think that you can continue to kill and bomb as you please,” added the head of the Iran-backed terror group.
Nasrallah said Hezbollah and its allies Iran and Syria “will respond at the appropriate time and place and with the appropriate method” to Israel’s Syria raids, while adding, “This landmark rocket attack has launched a new phase.”
He warned “the next response would be in the heart of occupied Palestine should any red lines be crossed.”
Nasrallah also blasted Bahrain’s foreign minister, calling him an “idiot” and a “traitor” for supporting Israel’s right to respond to the barrage of rockets coming from Syria.
Last week’s rocket strikes came after Iran threatened retaliation on Israel for numerous airstrikes against it in Syria, namely following the raid on the T-4 army base in Syria, which killed at least seven members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, including a senior officer responsible for the group’s drone program.
Earlier Monday, Nasrallah’s deputy, Sheikh Naim Kassem, said the Iranian rocket barrage affirmed “the balance of deterrence” between Israel and its regional enemies.
Iran, along with Hezbollah and Russia, is helping the Syrian regime suppress a bloody insurgency, now in its eighth year.
Israel has committed to preventing Iran from establishing forward bases in Syria, fearing they could be used to launch strikes against the Jewish state, and also to prevent advanced weapons from reaching Hezbollah.
AP contributed to this report.