Tuesday, December 06, 2011 – Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah Leader of the Hezbollah Shia Muslim political movement on the occassion of Ashura on Tuesday made a rare public appearance in Beirut afer several years.
He has rarely been seen in public since Hezbollah’s war with Israel in 2006, and was normally speaking to his supporters via video-linke.
The 34-day conflict left more than 1,200 Lebanese dead, most of them civilians. Some 160 Israelis, most of whom were soldiers, were also killed.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah was “here to stay” and would never compromise on its weapons.
He also offered his support to the Syrian government and accused the United States of plotting to destroy Syria.
He accused some in the Syrian opposition of catering to U.S. agendas in Syria and the region, and called on protesters to realize that they were being “used” for the wider aim of striking at Assad’s regime for its support for Hezbollah and other anti-Israel groups in the region.
Ashoura is one of the holiest days of the Muslim Shiite calendar. It marks the anniversary of the death in the seventh century of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein. His death in a battle outside of the Iraqi city of Karbala sealed Islam’s historical Sunni-Shiite split, which still bedevils the Middle East.
Nasrullah said, “We are growing in numbers, our training is getting better and our weapons are increasing. And for those who are betting that our weapons are rusting, we say that our weapons are being renewed.”
His public appearance, he said, was a message to those who believe they can “threaten us,” he added, as many in the crowds shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition leader said Hezbollah’s decision to side with President Bashar Assad in his eight-month crackdown on Syrian protesters has shown the resistance’s group real face.
Head of the Syrian National Council Burhan Ghalioun said, reconsidering Syria’s strategy with Iran and putting an end to arms supplies to Hezbollah are among the Syrian opposition’s demands.