The head of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah said it was prepared to wage war against Israel, the United States and parts of the Arab world, but claimed the Iranian proxy was not seeking out violence in the region.
“We are not advocates of war or fighting, but if our religious obligation is to fight, we will fight, even if [former US president George W.] Bush, [US President Donald) Trump, Israel, some Arabs and the entire world stand in our face,” said Hassan Nasrallah, according to Lebanese media reports.
“We are not afraid of anything,” he added.
“A real resistance fighter… is one who performs his religious assignment to the fullest,” Nasrallah said in a televised sermon.
Nasrallah’s remarks on Thursday came after a Hezbollah commander said earlier this week that the terror group has 10,000 fighters in southern Syria ready to confront Israel.
Israel has recently been warning of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah over their efforts to establish a new front against Israel in southern Syria. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly that Israel was prepared to take action against Iranian efforts to expand its military presence on its northern borders.
“We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us,” he said.
Three days after Netanyahu’s speech, Arabic-language media outlets reported Israeli warplanes struck a Hezbollah weapons depot outside Damascus early Friday morning.
According to reports and a monitoring group, the three separate strikes were carried out near the Damascus International Airport, an area known to be a Hezbollah stronghold.
“Israeli warplanes targeted with rocket fire a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah near the airport,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
There were no reports of casualties or damage.
Israel has for years has been widely believed to have carried out airstrikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria — including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles — as well as Hezbollah positions, but it rarely confirms such operations on an individual basis.
Earlier this month, Israel allegedly struck a facility in northwestern Syria, where the regime was said to have stockpiled chemical weapons and missiles, killing two people.
Jerusalem fears that the Iranian presence in southern Syria, near the Golan Heights, would serve as a springboard for terrorist groups to attack Israel in the future.
On Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force shot down an Iranian-built drone launched by Hezbollah with a Patriot missile after it attempted to cross into Israeli airspace.
The military also scrambled fighter jets to the area, but ultimately did not need to use them as the interceptor missile was able to destroy the target.
AFP contributed to this report.