Iran-Backed Hezbollah Chief Vows to Remain in Syria

In this Aug. 2, 2013, file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah gestures during a rally to mark Jerusalem day or Al-Quds day, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, categorically denied accusations that his group is sending weapons to …
AP/Hussein Malla

The Algemeiner reports: Lebanon’s Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah will remain in Syria as long as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wants it there, the group’s leader said on Friday, defying renewed US and Israeli pressure to force Tehran and its allies to quit the country.

Hezbollah has been a primary ally of Assad in the country’s seven-year civil war that has killed over 500,000 people. “I will tell you that if the whole world comes together to force us to leave Syria, they will not be able to evict us,” Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address, adding that only the Syrian leadership could ask them to leave.

Israel has repeatedly struck Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria, saying they must leave the country, with which it shares a border. Washington has made similar demands. Alongside Russia, Iran-backed forces in Syria have helped Assad drive rebels from the country’s biggest cities and reclaim swathes of the eastern deserts from Islamic State.

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