Hezbollah says can strike deep inside Israel
April 30, 2010
Iran will “cut off Israel’s feet” if the Jewish state attacks Damascus, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Rida Rahimi vowed on Friday at the end of a two-day visit to key regional ally Syria, as Hezbollah said it can strike deep inside Israel if a new war breaks out.
“We will stand alongside Syria against any (Israeli) threat,” Rahimi said at a news conference with Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otri.
“If those who have violated Palestinian land want to try anything we will cut off their feet,” he said in reference to the Jewish state.
Rahimi described Syria as a “strong country that is ready to confront any threat” and pledged that Tehran “will back Syria with all its means and strength.”
Hezbollah leader, meanwhile, said the group can strike infrastructure deep inside Israel if a new war breaks out, but refused in remarks published Friday to confirm whether or not the fighters have long-range Scud missiles.
The missiles have been at the center of new Mideast tensions since Israel earlier this month accused Syria of providing Hezbollah with the Scuds, which have a greater range and can carry a much bigger warhead than the rockets Hezbollah fired at Israel in the past.
Hezbollah’s leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah indicated that the details of the group’s weaponry are a secret.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah.
“President Assad is making decisions that could mean war or peace for the region,” she warned.
Earlier this month, Israeli President Shimon Peres claimed that Syria was supplying the Shiite armed group Hezbollah with Scud missiles.
Syria has denied the charges.
Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006 during which it fired more than 4,000 rockets on the Jewish state.
Israel estimates that Hezbollah has since stockpiled more than 40,000 rockets, some of which could reach major Israeli population centers, and has warned it stood ready for any attack by the Lebanese group.
Since the conflict, Nasrallah has said that Hezbollah amassed more than 30,000 rockets and can strike anywhere in Israel — claims that match Israeli intelligence assessments.
Despite a 1949 armistice agreement, Israel remains technically at war with Syria, which was among those that battled the nascent Jewish state in the 1948 Israeli-Arab war.