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Hezbollah leader vows to get more weapons in wake of Israeli strike

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah vowed Thursday that Syria would provide the Shiite Lebanese movement with even more powerful weapons to supplement those destroyed by Israel in a series of airstrikes against Damascus last weekend, but he refrained from threatening retaliation for the attacks.

In the first official response by Hezbollah to the Israeli strikes, Nasrallah said Syria would provide his movement with "game-changing" weapons that would "break the balance" of power in the region.

"Syria will give more weapons, better-quality weapons, to the resistance than the resistance has ever had before," he said in a speech broadcast by Hezbollah's al-Manar TV station. "This is the strategic response of Syria."

Nasrallah also pledged to provide moral and material support to an unspecified Syrian resistance movement that would attempt to recover the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967.

However, the speech appeared to rule out any immediate Hezbollah response to the strikes, in which Israeli warplanes demolished targets said to include shipments of Fateh-110 missiles destined for the Shiite military and political movement. Hezbollah plays a commanding role in Lebanon's government and also sustains a private army for the chief purpose of confronting Israel.

But Hezbollah has also become increasingly embroiled in the war in Syria in recent months, dispatching hundreds and perhaps thousands of fighters to aide government forces battling the rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad. Analysts say the Syrian entanglement leaves Hezbollah in no position to risk opening up a second front against Israel.

Syria has also not threatened any direct response to the strikes.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks via video during a conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday.

Associated Press

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks via video during a conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday.

Hezbollah leader vows to get more weapons in wake of Israeli strike 05/09/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:35pm]
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