Hezbollah welcomes Russian military buildup in Syria

Hezbollah head welcomes Russian military, blames United States for failure in region; Reports claim Syrian Army arming Hezbollah with Russian tanks; 28 jets and 12 attack helicopters reported in Latakia

Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah Head Hassan Nasrallah (AP)

Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah Head Hassan Nasrallah (AP)

Hezbollah welcomes Russian military advances in Syria that it claims results due to the failure of United States as part of a “international coalition” to defeat the Islamic State in the region, according to the head of the terrorist organization, Hassan Nasrallah.

In an interview with Al-Manar Friday, Nasrallah stated that, “We welcome any force which intervenes and supports the front in Syria, because through its participation, it will contribute to pushing away the major dangers that are threatening Syria and the region” adding that, “The failure of America and the international coalition to bring defeat to Daesh [ISIS] was one of the reasons which called or pushed Russia to also come, and to get directly involved.”

Nasrallah confirmed the deployment of “very advanced Russian weaponry” in Syria, including warplanes, helicopters and precision missiles stating that Russian efforts “proves what we said years ago, when people thought Syria would collapse, we said then that Assad’s allies would not abandon him.” He additionally confirmed that Russian military advances were and continue to be coordinated with Iran, claiming the likelihood that Russian troops will assist the Syrian Army on the ground, but that the “Syrians haven’t requested this up to now.”

Reports from the Kuwait newspaper Alrai additionally claim that the Syrian Army has given Hezbollah “dozens of Soviet-era tanks” and that Syria, Russia and Hezbollah have launched a “joint operations room” for coordinated military cooperation. The Syrian Army is believed to have received 75 tanks.

The Syrian Army has been reinforced by thousands of combat fighters from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, to aid Assad’s Regime in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Alrai’s report confirmed the deployment of 100 Iranian special forces combatants training in urban warfare in Damascus.

Additionally, Russian presence in Syria is larger then previously assessed. According to reports over the weekend that included satellite images, 28 fighter jets and 12 attack helicopters were deployed to Latakia. 4 advanced Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters, 12 multifunctional Sukhoi Su-24’s, 12 Sukhoi Su-25’s as well as 10 Mil Mi-24 gunships and 2 Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters were deployed according to the report.

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The reports come after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin early this week. Netanyahu addressed the ongoing threats of terrorist organizations and development such as Hezbollah, Putin claiming that Russian military advances in Syria are to support the country and not terror activity.