We’ll hit more targets: Nasrallah says lessons learned from ‘Hollywood’ IDF
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We’ll hit more targets: Nasrallah says lessons learned from ‘Hollywood’ IDF

Hezbollah leaders says Israeli army’s faked evacuation of wounded soldiers earlier this month shows that the ‘legendary’ military is now ‘feeble’

Members of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement's security, stand guard during a religious mourning procession on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, which marks the day of Ashura, in a suburb of the capital Beirut, on September 10, 2019 (ANWAR AMRO / AA / AFP)
Members of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement's security, stand guard during a religious mourning procession on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, which marks the day of Ashura, in a suburb of the capital Beirut, on September 10, 2019 (ANWAR AMRO / AA / AFP)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday that the Israel Defense Forces showed weakness in the incident earlier this month in which it staged an evacuation of “wounded soldiers” from an APC that his group targeted with anti-tank missiles, and that Hezbollah had learned lessons from the incident.

“The legendary and invincible [IDF] has turned into a Hollywood army, acting in movies, because it has become weak, debilitated, feeble and cowardly,” Nasrallah said.

He said Hezbollah’s takeaway from the staged evacuation was that it should hit more Israeli targets in the future.

“You are saying to us: ‘Next time, don’t strike one military vehicle and don’t strike only in one place. Instead, hit more than one military vehicle and hit more than one place.’ We are not going to see anymore Hollywood films,” he said.

A ‘wounded’ IDF soldier, in a staged evacuation, at the scene of an APC that was struck by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile on the Lebanon border on September 1, 2019. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Hezbollah gleefully announced it had killed and wounded soldiers after firing the anti-tank missiles into northern Israel earlier this month, but Israel later said no soldiers were injured and Israeli sources indicated that footage of wounded soldiers being rushed to a hospital was part of a ruse.

Smoke rises near the community of Avivim following an anti-tank missile attack from Lebanon on September 1, 2019. (Courtesy)

The IDF retaliated by firing approximately 100 artillery shells and bombs at Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon. No Lebanese casualties were reported. Hezbollah, apparently believing it had already exacted sufficient revenge for DIF strikes the previous week, refrained from any further response. The group has continued to assert that the APC suffered a direct hit.

During the speech to commemorate the Shiite religious festival of Ashura, an annual commemoration mourning the 7th century death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein, one of Shiite Islam’s most beloved saints, Nasrallah also vowed that a war on Iran would lead to the destruction of Israel.

“We reject any war project against the Islamic Republic of Iran because such a war will set the region on fire, destroy countries and peoples and target the whole axis of resistance,” he said.  “Those who think that such a war will be the end of axis of resistance, I tell them: With this axis’s force, perseverance, truth, sincerity, determination and sacrifices, such a war will be the end of Israel and the American hegemony and presence in our region.”

Tensions with Hezbollah and its patron Iran have soared in recent weeks, after the IDF late last month thwarted an attempt by Iranian operatives in Syria — including two former Hezbollah members — to carry out an attack on northern Israel with armed drones and attacked their base. It also followed a drone attack in Beirut, attributed to Israel, that reportedly destroyed key components of a joint Hezbollah-Iran project to manufacture precision-guided missiles in Lebanon.

Lebanese military intelligence inspects the scene where two drones came down in the vicinity of a Hezbollah media center in the south of the capital Beirut, August 25, 2019. (Anwar Amro/AFP)

The IDF on Sunday launched a large-scale exercise simulating war against Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian forces in the north of the country.

A day later, an Israeli drone crashed inside southern Lebanon, the army said. The Hezbollah terror group claimed to have shot down the aircraft as it crossed the border. The IDF confirmed that the drone fell inside Lebanese territory, but when asked if the aircraft had been shot down or crashed due to a technical issue, an army spokesperson said, “It fell, as far as I know.”

The Iran-backed Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States, is also a major political actor in Lebanon and a key government backer in war-torn Syria.

Israel and Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war in 2006, have indicated they do not want to go to war but appeared on a collision course in recent weeks after Hezbollah vowed it would retaliate for strikes against the Iran-backed terrorist group.

Adam Rasgon and agencies contributed to this report.

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