Hizbollah chief boasts of moving 'high-precision' weapons under Israel's nose

Associated Press
Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shia movement Hizbollah, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location in Lebanon. - AFP

The leader of Lebanon's militant Hizbollah has boasted the group now possesses "highly accurate" missiles despite Israeli attempts to prevent it from acquiring such weapons.

Hassan Nasrallah did not offer specifics on the precision weapons, but his comments prompted a reply from Israel's Prime Minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Hizbollah leader that "if he confronts us, he will receive a lethal blow that he can't even imagine."

Israel worries that Hezbollah has been improving its capabilities and Israeli officials have said they will not allow "game-changing" weapons, such as guided missiles, to reach the group.

In recent months, Israel has acknowledged carrying out scores of strikes in Syria, most of them believed aimed at halting suspected arms shipments for Hizbollah from Iran, its main backer and Israel's archenemy.

Female supporters of Lebanon's Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah chant slogans as he addresses his supporters via a screen Credit: Reuters

On Thursday, Nasrallah claimed Israeli strikes in Syria to prevent Hizbollah from acquiring precise missiles were ineffective.

"I tell (Israel) no matter what it did to cut the route, it is over. It has already been achieved," he said, adding that Hizbollah "now possesses precision missiles and non-precision and weapons capabilities."

Nasrallah was speaking during a traditional televised speech at the end of Ashoura, a top religious holy day for Shia Muslims that lasts for 10 days.

He told supporters to be confident and Israelis to be concerned of Hizbollah's capabilities. Nasrallah said the balance of power in the region has changed.

Hizbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad's forces in the civil war. "If Israel imposes a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a destiny and reality it didn't expect any day," Nasrallah said.

A general view shows Russian fighter jets on the tarmac at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria Credit: AFP

Nasrallah's speech was broadcast on a large screen to supporters in Beirut's majority-Shia suburb of Dahiya. On Wednesday, Nasrallah said Israeli claims to have targeted a shipment to Hezbollah in Syria's Latakia province earlier this week were "lies."

Hizbollah fighters will continue to be deployed in Syria, he said, but perhaps in lesser numbers due to reduced fighting there after Syrian government forces regained control of most rebel-held areas.

Nasrallah also urged supporters to rally behind Iran, saying it's facing hard times as more US sanctions take effect in November.