The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah boasted Thursday the group now possesses “highly accurate” missiles despite Israeli attempts to prevent it from acquiring such weapons.
Hassan Nasrallah didn’t offer specifics on the weapons in his traditional televised speech commemorating Ashoura, a top religious holy day for Shiite Muslims. He told supporters they need to be confident in Hezbollah’s capabilities and that the regional balance of power has changed.
He claimed Israeli strikes in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring precise missiles were ineffective.
“I tell (Israel) no matter what it did to cut the route, it is over. It has already been achieved,” he said, adding that Hezbollah “now possesses precision missiles and non-precision and weapons capabilities.”
Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad’s forces in the civil war.
Israel worries Hezbollah has been improving its capabilities and acknowledged carrying out scores of strikes in Syria, most of them believed aimed at halting suspected arms shipments for Hezbollah.
“If Israel imposes a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a destiny and reality it didn’t expect any day,” Nasrallah said.
Israeli leaders have said they will not allow “game-changing” weapons, such as guided missiles, to reach Hezbollah.
Nasrallah’s speech was broadcast on a large screen to supporters in Beirut’s majority-Shiite suburb of Dahiya.
On Wednesday, Nasrallah said Israeli claims to have targeted a shipment to Hezbollah in Syria’s Latakia province earlier this week were “lies.”
Hezbollah fighters will continue to be deployed in Syria, he said, but perhaps in lesser numbers due to reduced fighting there after Syrian government forces regained control of most rebel-held areas.
Nasrallah also urged supporters to rally behind Iran, saying it’s facing hard times as more US sanctions take effect in November.