AFP: Iran and Syria helped radical Lebanese group Hezbollah’s “victory” over Israel, a member of the political council of Hezbollah said in an interview published Thursday in Russian daily Izvestia.
MOSCOW, Aug 17, 2006 (AFP) – Iran and Syria helped radical Lebanese group Hezbollah’s “victory” over Israel, a member of the political council of Hezbollah said in an interview published Thursday in Russian daily Izvestia.
“They are our allies, and we’re proud of that. These states made a perceptible contribution to our victory over Israel,” Melli said.
Speaking of a UN plan to send 15,000 peacekeepers to the former Hezbollah stronghold of south Lebanon, Melli said “we do not trust the UN.”
“Of course, we will accept the peacekeeping contingent. But why not send it not only to the Lebanese side of the border, but also to the Israeli side?” Melli said.
Melli added that Hezbollah, which the United States considers a terrorist organization but Russia does not, had lost “no more than 100 of our activists” in the month-long conflict.
“But no one from the leadership of our organization,” was killed, he added.
He rejected claims that Hezbollah stores rockets in the homes of civilians as “Israeli propaganda,” though he said that “during the military operations (Hezbollah leader) Hassan Nasrallah broadcast six television addresses, and all of them were made in the homes of ordinary residents.”
Melli said that Hezbollah would abide by the ceasefire “if the Israelis withdraw their troops and remove their blockade from our territory. If Israeli soldiers remain on our territory, they will always be targets for Hezbollah.”