Hezbollah will stay involved in Syria war: Nasrallah

BEIRUT: Lebanon's Shia movement Hezbollah will stay involved in the Syrian conflict, after having helped government forces recapture the key town of Qusayr from rebels, its leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday.

“Before Qusayr is the same as after Qusayr. Nothing has changed,” he said in a televised speech.

“Isn't the conspiracy the same?... Have the facts changed? On the contrary, the other side is stirring up this conflict even more,” said the leader of the powerful Iranian-backed group.

“Where we need to be, we will be. Where we began to assume our responsibilities, we will continue to assume our responsibilities,” he added.

“To defeat this very, very dangerous conspiracy (against Syria) we will bear any sacrifices and all the consequences.”

Hezbollah, a staunch ally of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has become increasingly embroiled in the conflict in neighbouring Syria, which is now in its third year.

“The details will depend on the requirements on the ground,” Nasrallah said in the address, which came on the Day of the Wounded, honouring Hezbollah casualties from different conflicts.

Lebanon has been drawn into the Syrian conflict, despite an officially neutral stance on the fighting, by Hezbollah's involvement as well as the flow of rebel fighters and weapons across its borders.

The involvement has raised tensions in the country, where many Shias back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Alawite offshoot of Shia Islam, and Sunnis are more likely to support the mostly Sunni opposition.

Nasrallah insisted Hezbollah was against increased sectarian tension in Lebanon, and urged his supporters and others to keep the calm in the country.

Hezbollah and its supporters have regularly made reference to the takfiri or extremist Islamist elements among the opposition to justify their involvement on the side of the Syrian regime.

But Hezbollah's intervention has been condemned internationally, and regionally by the Arab League and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which announced sanctions against the group in response.

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