Hawzah News Agency (Beirut, Lebanon) - Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah also saluted on Wednesday in a televised speech Yemeni Leader Abdul Malek Badr-e-ddin for his support to the resistance in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine, and greeted the Lebanese Army on its anniversary, assuring that "it is a partner and the axis of the golden equation ‘Army-People-Resistance'"
Focusing on Arsal battle in his speech, Hezbollah secretary general indicated that the goal of the battle in Arsal and Flita outskirts was to pull out the militants in the areas controlled by Al-Nusra Front in which suicide attacks were being prepared there.
He noted that this battle was being delayed since 2015, until recently it was discovered that those areas were housing suicide attackers and booby-trapped vehicles so the decision to liberate them was taken without any foreign intervention.
"We have been preparing for this battle since last winter. When spring arrived the logistic and personal preparation took off and we had to choose whether to initiate with it before or after the month of Ramadan."
"Whoever has a military knowledge knows that such a decision cannot be taken overnight, it rather needs preparation and it is not related to political developments," Sayyed Nasrallah stated, noting that "the area there is witnessing the toughest fights, its size is 100 kilometers squared, its mountains are 2,500 meters high, and it has mountains, hills, and barren valleys."
"In those mountains, valleys and hills, there is an enemy who is in a state of defense and is sheltered, hence it has caves, tunnels, and natural barricades. Therefore, it doesn’t care about the number of fighters or their morale, as it has the arms, ammunition, and food needed," he added.
On the other hand, his eminence pointed out that "our brothers are on the front line, uncovered and targeted. It is a tough area and they are walking in the valleys and mountains… and I can until this moment say that we are in front of a military and field victory that was achieved in 48 hours which surprised everyone with the least cost on the level of martyrs and wounded."
"In Flita outskirts there was a joint battle along with the Syrian Army. we fought side by side, and we both offered martyrs and wounded until the whole area was liberated, and in the Syrian territories there are no more Al-Nusra elements. On the Lebanese side, what the Lebanese Army did in Arsal and its outskirts was essential for this victory, as it targeted militants there and protected the people and refugee camps," Sayyed Nasrallah indicated.
Hezbollah secretary general noted that "Al-Nusra leaders did not respond to the calls of Hezbollah which was a wrong decision that let them lose most of the area… ISIL would have helped Al-Nusra if the latter offered a pledge of Allegiance to it, but this would have been very insulting for Al-Nusra… on the other hand "Saraya Ahl El-Sham", which participated in the battle on the first day, acted rationally and understood that it had no hope in this battle so it pulled back to the refugee camps."
In this context, his eminence referred that Hezbollah only wanted the safety and security in Arsal, stressing that "when the battle is over we are ready to hand in all the locations to the Army, and the people of Arsal can return to their towns safely."
He further assured that "we will not allow anyone to come near the refugee camps or attack them."
Sayyed Nasrallah asked media outlets not to put a time frame for the operation, pointing out that "while the battle is approaching its end, we must take our time and not rush into things and give a chance for a settlement that would allow the militants to pull back under certain conditions."
In conclusion, he asserted that "we are in front of a great victory which will return the land to its people and bring safety to Hermel, Baalbeck, Britel, Nabi Sheeth, Zahle, and all the Lebanese areas. Al-Nusra’s final military page will turn in Lebanon. The security threat will continue, but the military page will turn thanks to our resistance fighters, wounded, martyrs and their families, and all the people in Lebanon and the region who are suffering from terrorism."
"To the Christians and Muslims we offer this victory, and the Muslims that suffered most from terrorism are the Sunnis, specifically in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan where mosques are being bombed. In the battle against terrorism we are performing our duty and we do not expect gratitude and appreciation from anyone. We are performing our duty in front of our people," Sayyed Nasrallah stated.
In a final word of gratitude for the families of martyrs and wounded and for the resistance fighters in all the fields, his eminence said: "On your hands, Allah pulled us out of the disgrace and defeat that we lived in… In every man of you there is the sacrifice of Abul Fadel Al-Abbas and Imam Hussein (as) who said in front of the whole world “disgrace, how far!”, and in every woman of you lives Zeinab (as)…"