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‘No place’ is safe if Israel starts war – Hezbollah

Hezbollah is prepared for a full-scale conflict with Israel, the Shia militia’s head Hassan Nasrallah has said. He also warned Cyprus that it could be targeted if it hosts Israeli forces.

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Nasrallah gave a televised speech on Wednesday, following a memorial service for Hajj Sami Taleb Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah commander who had been killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon earlier this week.

“The enemy knows it must expect us on land, in the air, and at sea, and if war is imposed, the resistance will fight without constraints, rules, or limits,” he said, adding that “there will be no place safe from our missiles and drones.”

The current confrontation is the “greatest battle since 1948,” the year Israel declared independence, and “will change the face of the region and shape its future,” Nasrallah said.

The Shia militia that controls much of Lebanon has prodded Israeli troops in Galilee since October 7 last year, when West Jerusalem declared war on Hamas in Gaza. The intermittent rocket attacks on both sides of the border have driven more than 53,000 Israelis and almost 100,000 Lebanese from their homes.

Hezbollah is striking Israeli positions “within a certain and specific schedule,” Nasrallah claimed, noting that the group has a “very, very large amount of information” about Israeli fortifications, numbers and deployments, referring to Tuesday’s release of drone footage of the port of Haifa.

According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah has all the weapons it needs to strike targets inside Israel, including previously undisclosed weapons that have yet to be used on the battlefield. The group is also well-supplied with drones and rockets.

Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus for the first time, telling the government in Nicosia that the country “opening its airports and bases to the enemy to target Lebanon means it has become part of the war.” He claimed that Israel had secret plans to use airfields in Cyprus should its own airbases be disabled by Hezbollah strikes.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Tuesday that it had finalized “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon.”

Responding to US calls for restraint, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said his country was “very close to the moment when we will decide to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon.” adding that “in a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be hit hard.” 

Israel’s last major confrontation with Hezbollah was in 2006, when a ground offensive into southern Lebanon resulted in high casualties and no military gains.

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