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Israel conceals ‘heavy losses’ as Hezbollah operations ‘very exhausting’: Nasrallah

Lebanon's Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech on January 5, 2024.

The secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah says Israel is concealing the “heavy losses” it has suffered in the war on the southern Lebanese border as the resistance movement’s operations against the occupying regime are “very exhausting.”

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised speech on Friday as he addressed a memorial ceremony for late Hezbollah official Mohammad Yaghi (Abu Salim) in Lebanon's eastern city of Baalbek.

Nasrallah also offered his condolences on the martyrdom of Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of the Hamas politburo, in an Israeli drone strike in southern Beirut as well as the martyrdom of scores of Iranians in Daesh-claimed twin bomb attacks in the southern city of Kerman.

“The killing of Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri will undoubtedly not go unanswered or unpunished, the decision lies in the hands of the field and it will undoubtedly be implemented,” Nasrallah warned.

The Hezbollah chief also said remaining silent about such a “grave violation” would expose all of Lebanon to greater harm than any potential risks from responding in the battlefield.

Nasrallah pointed to Lebanon’s war in its southern areas with Israel since early October and said the resistance movement had carried out hundreds of anti-Tel Aviv operations in support of Palestinians and their resistance groups in Gaza.

“Since October 8, we have entered into the battle with the Israeli enemy all along more than 100 km on the southern front,” the Hezbollah chief said. “The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon carried out more than 670 operations within three months, and 48 border sites were targeted more than once.”

Nasrallah said the Lebanese resistance movement also targeted the technical and intelligence equipment in the north of the occupied territories and “completely destroyed” them.

Stressing that a large number of Israeli vehicles and tanks were also destroyed along the border, Nasrallah cited reports by Israeli health officials that the real death toll was “three times” higher than what the occupation army discloses and there are over 2,000 Israeli casualties in eight hospitals in the north.

“What is happening at the southern border was described by one of Israel’s former war ministers as a humiliation,” the Hezbollah leader said. “Severely affected by its heavy losses, the enemy does differentiate between the dead or the wounded, and this is part of its policy of general secrecy about its losses.”

Nasrallah underlined that “The operations were very exhausting for the enemy, who exercised secrecy over its great losses.”

Nasrallah pointed out that one outcome of the fighting on the southern front was the displacement of Israelis from northern settlements, reversing the historical trend where Lebanese people were displaced during multiple wars.

“This displacement is expected to exert psychological, political, and security pressure on the enemy’s cabinet, along with increasing anxiety on the northern front,” he added.

Nasrallah also emphasized that the ongoing battle in the south provided a “historic” opportunity for the full liberation of Lebanon.

“We find ourselves at a historic juncture presenting a unique opportunity to fully liberate every inch of our land and establish an equation that safeguards our country’s sovereignty, an opportunity initiated by the blessings of the Lebanese front,” he said.

“The resistance’s operations along the southern border confirm deterrence equations with the Zionist enemy, and the chance to establish an equation preventing any encroachment on Lebanon’s sovereignty,” he added.

Since October 8, the day after the Israel onslaught against Gaza started, the frontier between Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied territories has seen deadly exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and the Hezbollah movement.

Reports say Israel has repeatedly used US-supplied internationally-banned white phosphorus munitions in its attacks on Lebanon.


Iraq should seize opportunity to get rid of US occupation

Elsewhere in his speech on Friday, Nasrallah referred to a historic opportunity for Iraq to rid itself of the American occupation, given the ongoing strategic defeat faced by the United States and NATO in Ukraine.

“The underlying motive is the support for Gaza, and the US administration is apprehensive about it, grappling with a predicament in Ukraine,” he said of the recent Iraqi military operations against American troops in response to US attacks on the country’s resistance groups.

“An advantageous outcome of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq opening a front in support of Gaza is the genuine prospect for Iraq to liberate itself from the American occupation.”

Nasrallah also called on the Iraqi government, parliament and people to unite in dismissing the criminal occupiers who are complicit in atrocities in Gaza, Palestine, and Lebanon.

The Hezbollah leader hailed Baghdad’s courageous stance on Operation al-Aqsa Storm and called for the expulsion of American forces from Iraq, stressing that Iraq does not need Americans to combat Daesh.

Yemen ‘part of international equation’

Meanwhile, Nasrallah touched upon the issue of Yemen’s retaliatory strikes against Israeli-owned and –bound ships in the strategic Red Sea, saying, “The silent and negligent regimes were surprised by what the Yemenis did in the Red Sea.”

The secretary general of Hezbollah commended the leader of Yemen's Ansarullah resistance movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, and the government in Sana’a for their steadfastness and support for Palestinians in Gaza.

“A significant national achievement is that the Sana’a government has evolved from being an internal faction to becoming a pivotal component of the international equation, compelling the world to reckon with it despite attempts to marginalize it,” Nasrallah said.

“Yemen’s message today is a message to the United States, stating that it is not facing the Ansarullah movement, but rather tens of millions of Yemeni people whose entire history is inflicting defeats on aggressors.”

Nasrallah also underlined that “Yemen is becoming more prominent in the Arab and Islamic world, and in the eyes of its friends and enemies, by taking its position on Gaza.”

“Those who underestimate the actions of the axis of resistance today are those who have not provided anything since the beginning of the aggression on Gaza to cover up their failure,” he added. 

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 22,438 Palestinians and injured more than 57,614 others.

Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza, which is under “complete siege” by Israel.

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