Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah blamed Islamist extremists for the string of security incidents targeting his Shiite party in recent months and warned that if bombings continue, “Lebanon will be on the edge of the abyss.”
“We know by name those who launched the rockets at Dahiyeh [on May 26] and who set the car bomb in Dahiyeh on July 7… they belong to specific Takfiri groups,” Nasrallah said Friday in a speech televised to a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the end of 2006 July War.
Nasrallah further said that “all information points to the same groups” as being responsible for Thursday’s massive car bomb in Dahiyeh that left at least 22 people dead.
“There is a high probability takfiri groups are responsible for yesterday’s bombing,” he said, adding however that Israel, the US and regional powers use radical Islamist groups for their own purposes.
Nasrallah also went into details on Thursday’s car bomb between the Dahiyeh areas of Al-Roueiss and Bir al-Abed, saying that over 100 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack and that his party could not yet determine whether it had been a suicide operation.
The Hezbollah chief praised caretaker Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn and his announcement earlier in the day that Lebanese army intelligence had arrested a suspect for the July 7 car bomb in Dahiyeh’s Bir al-Abed that left over 50 people injured.
Ghosn also said that army intelligence has gathered strong evidence regarding the assailants behind the rocket attack on Dahiyeh in the early hours of May 26 that injured four people.
Amid the growing number of security incidents across the country, Nasrallah issued a chilling warning that if bombings continue, “Lebanon will be on the edge of the abyss.”
“We must understand the threat Lebanon is confronting... those who are destroying the region have taken a decision to destroy Lebanon,” the Hezbollah leader warned, calling on state security institutions to take proactive measures to round up terrorist cells in the country.
Nasrallah further warned against falling into the trap of sectarian strife, reiterating statements he made previously that Islamist extremists did not represent the Sunni sect.
The leader of the Shiite party addressed his supporters, saying, “We are afraid that you will be drawn into uncalculated reactions that will lead to strife and sabotage Lebanon.”
“We must continue to control ourselves,” he said in reference to his party’s mostly Shiite supporters.
Despite his stark warnings, Nasrallah vowed that his party would defeat “takfiri groups” and foil attempts at stirring sectarian conflict, saying that attacks against his party would only embolden its actions in Syria.
“If all of Hezbollah, myself included, need to join the battle in Syria, then we will go Syria,” Nasrallah declared.
Hezbollah is a key supporter of President Bashar al-Assad and has sent fighters across the border to Syria this year to bolster government forces, which have been battling a deadly anti-regime revolt since March 2011.
The Shiite party’s role in the Syria war comes amid the growing sectarian nature of the conflict between Alawite-dominated Assad regime and mainly Sunni rebels.