BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Thursday that Israeli strikes inside Syria were also an aggression against Syria’s regional allies and they had the right to retaliate.
“The frequent attacks on different sites in Syria is a major breach. We consider (those) hostilities (to be) against all the resistance axis,” he told the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV.
“(Retaliation) is an open issue ... It is not only Syria’s right to respond but also it is the right of the axis of resistance to respond. When this right will be executed is subject to certain criteria ... it could happen any time.”
Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and some Palestinian factions consider themselves an “axis of resistance” against Israel.
Hezbollah is a staunch ally of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and has sent hundreds of combatants to fight alongside his forces in the nearly four-year civil war.
Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the nearly four-year civil war, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for Hezbollah.
In December, Syria said Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon. Israel does not publicly confirm bombing missions.
Hezbollah, created in the 1980s to fight Israeli occupation in Lebanon, fought a 33-day war with Israel in 2006 in which it fired thousands of rockets that hit deep into Israel.
Nasrallah said his group was ready for any possible future war with Israel despite being engaged in the war in Syria.
“If the Israelis think that the resistance is weakened or exhausted ...then they are mistaken.”
Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Robin Pomeroy