Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s full speech after Liberation of Arsal

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Televised speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in which he talked about the stage following the liberation of Arsal Outskirts, on August 4, 2017.

In His Name

I seek refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad, and upon his chaste and pure Household, and upon his chosen companions, and upon all messengers and prophets.

Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

In my last speech, I promised to talk after the battle - which was ongoing with the Nusra Front - comes to an end. As we are through with this stage, and have begun a new stage, it became obligatory that I give this speech to clarify some ideas, illustrate the path, and specify some points, and highlight responsibilities.

First, I would like to congratulate the captives who have returned to freedom and to their homeland. I also congratulate and offer condolences to the families of all martyrs - all the families of martyrs - for their dear ones who passed away and reached what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no heart has ever felt. Blessed and pleased may they be. I also would like to salute the wounded fighters and the mujahedeen. I ask Allah Almighty to bestow patience on them to bear the pain of their wounds, and we pray for a quick recovery for them. I congratulate everyone in Lebanon and in the region on this victory - the accomplishment of the full victory - in this battle which is over. In particular, I congratulate the mujahedeen who made this victory with their hands, arms, and sacrifices. In parallel, I thank all the Lebanese people who received our freed captives yesterday in Baalbek - Hermel, along the Beqaa, the South, and in the various villages and towns. Special thanks to our people in al-Qaa who from the very early morning embraced, welcomed, offered helped, and were true partners in this achievement.

Besides moving into the topics of my speech, it is my duty to reassure the rest of the noble families, as we still have bodies of martyrs in the hands of the various armed forces. Indeed, with the Nusra Front there are no more captives - perhaps there is a captive or two. There is a missing brother, we do not know if he was martyred or if he is a captive with Daesh held in the Syrian Desert. In the Desert battle, we have a group of missing brethren regarding whom we do not know so far for sure whether they are martyrs or are still alive. As I know that these hours and these moments are very difficult, especially for the rest of the noble families, I want to assert to you that the specialized sides in Hezbollah are following up this file with utmost precision, loyalty, and honesty. I am personally following up on the file which is an object of care. Let no one of you be hesitant. You must all be sure that we are working day and night on this issue, because this is our religious, moral, and jihadi commitment towards you and towards these patient, noble, and struggling families.
So we are before a mission which was achieved. There is another mission which was achieved. Thus we are before new missions, new conditions, and new responsibilities. I want to tackle two topics and end up with an issue - an extremely important issue indeed.

As per the first topic, I want to tackle briefly what was achieved and the remaining details and following up (certain issues). Moreover, we have to perform our moral duty towards what was achieved. That's because our religion is that of religious fairness. In fact, the divine religion is fairness, and whoever does not thank his fellow beings does not thank the Creator, and with thanks blessings last. So on the one hand, for moral reasons, I want to tackle briefly - not all that took place - but only the important things that took place. On another hand, I will tackle that and accordingly, take the appropriate decision on how to tackle the next stage and to benefit from this experience in the remaining and upcoming files.

Well, as per the first topic, in my last speech, I told you that night that the military battle reached this point: we are now working on two lines, the field and negotiations. Hours after the speech, complications were resolved. Negotiations advanced, and we were able to reach a final agreement, and this final agreement was implemented. Thus you are acquainted with its details and course of events, and I do not want to take your time with the details of this issue.

Here allow me from the very beginning to laud the remarkable efforts and strenuous and critical work that were exerted by Major General Abbas Ibrahim. Many thanks and full appreciation and prayers from all of us to him. May Allah grant him more and more success. May Allah open up (resolve) through his hands all the next and upcoming files and issues.

Well, under this topic, I want to tackle several points:

The first point has to do with the Syrian side.

The second point has to do with the Lebanese side. Then I will move forward.
First, as per the Syrian side, as I said, to be fair and to benefit for the next battle and files, we must not overlook this issue; we must rather talk about it with transparency and clarity.

First, from the very beginning, this battle was backed by the Syrian leadership which offered it all possible facilitations. Now there is the field, and there are the negotiations. When we went to battlefield, the Syrian Army was fighting in the Flitah Outskirts, and we were fighting shoulder to shoulder next to them, and they offered martyrs. The media has not been that fair towards the Syrian Army and its sacrifices on this front because the media was focusing more on the Lebanese Front. Thus we must appreciate the Syrian Army and its sacrifices, martyrs, and the wounded in this battle. However, what is important to draw benefit from for the next battle is to say the following outcome: what helped in putting a decisive end to the battle within a very brief period of time is fighting on two fronts: the Syrian Front in the Flitah Outskirts and the Lebanese Front in the Arsal Outskirts. Consequently, the Nusra Front was fighting on all fronts, which broke up the power of the antagonist enemy and, consequently, swiftly put a decisive end to the battle.

So the very important outcome which the Lebanese must know now is that one of the reasons for the swiftness in ending the battle and liberating the Arsal Outskirts is our fighting along with the Syrian Army in the Flitah Outskirts at the same time.
Second: when things reached that far in the battlefield, and the gate was opened to negotiations, the Syrian leadership gave the preliminary agreement for whatever side that wishes to join in the negotiations to participate in them.

Indeed, we were contacting them directly. The Lebanese state was the side concerned in the negotiations, and our brethren in the Syrian leadership did not have any problem in that. They facilitated the initiation of the negotiations to the effect that they had no problem in that, and that they would cooperate with the Lebanese to reach the desired result. Otherwise, had the Syrian leadership from the very beginning said no, things are through in the Flitah Outskirts, the Nusra Front is now in the Lebanese outskirts and Lebanese territories, and let the Lebanese resolve their own problems by themselves, and they are not concerned with this file, things would not have moved as they did. However, on the contrary, they did not deal with this issue as such at all. From the very beginning, they acted very positively, knowing that this file means transferring the burden from the Lebanese side to the Syrian side. You are deporting militants, regardless whether the media reported a right or wrong number for the militants. There is no problem in that. Well, let's say they were 200, 300, or 400 militants, no less and no more - I just dont want to give a precise number and be responsible of what I say. For sure their number is no more than this. However, after all, these are being extracted from among the Lebanese people and placed among the Syrians - in Idlib which is the launching pad for a battle against Aleppo or Hama. In fact, the Syrian leadership acted ethically with this Lebanese file.

Third: during negotiations, they were not picky as far as formalities are concerned. They did not demand the Lebanese cabinet to convene and officially demand Syrian help in this regard. Never! They did not think of all of these details which some people in Lebanon stop at even at the expense of the blood, pain, and the sufferings of the people.

Furthermore, they did not put conditions. They said what we ask for in Syria, we ask in Lebanon: transportation means, light arms, verification means...They did not put any more conditions. They did not even put a ceiling for the number. They did not say we accept a maximum of such and such numbers of militants, displaced, and civilians. They rather let the negotiations move along. Afterwards, we reached an agreement, and they agreed on it without any complications. When we went for implementation, as you saw on TV, the delay took place here. However, when reaching the Lebanese-Syrian borders, from the Lebanese-Syrian borders to the Saan checkpoint in Hama Countryside, which is the last point for the swap operation, things went quickly and smoothly. Moreover, facilitations were offered more than in any operation in the past as you saw on TV.

This issue must be mentioned and appreciated, and the Lebanese must see and know that this is how this issue was dealt with.

Thus, I want to list several points that resulted from this issue. First, it is our moral obligation to thank His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian leadership, the Syrian officials, the security sides that followed the operation, the Syrian Red Crescent, and all those who were in the field all day and night during the past two or three days to achieve this mission and restore to us our captives whom they received at the Saan checkpoint.

Here I want to draw the moral from this issue as we drew the moral from the battle in the Flitah Outskirts and the Arsal Outskirts as per the battlefield. The moral I want to draw as per the negotiations is that I want to tell the Lebanese people, Lebanese public opinion, and especially the Lebanese politicians, whether they are official or non-official: let's reconsider this issue for a while. This operation included transporting hundreds of militants and thousands of families. Well, there was no United Nations or the Red Cross. There were no international sides. To the last crossing point for the Lebanese Army in Arsal to the Lebanese-Syrian borders in the Arsal Outskirts and Flitah Outskirts, the guarantee was the Lebanese General Security based on the guarantee given by Hezbollah because our military is present there. Here we are talking about the course pursued by the convoy. There are about 300 kilometers from the Syrian borders to the Saan crossing point. They crossed this distance in the darkness of the night and in daylight from the Lebanese-Syrian borders to the Saan crossing point. For about 280 kilometers or 290 kilometers, the guarantee was the Syrian state or the Syrian regime. By the way, I do not consider the word regime to be negative - it is rather a positive word. The Syrian state or the Syrian regime lived up to all their promises. No one was subject to any harm. It offered them facilitations, and as such the issue was over.

This experience comes in the framework of other experiences inside Syria including Madaya and Zabadani, and we are ready to listen to anyone who has anything else to say. The media outlets are available to confirm what we are saying. The Syrian state and the Syrian regime always observe their commitments as per transferring the convoys and the militants based on the set measures and conditions. So there is no danger. Even as per all the settlements and reconciliations, the Syrian state fulfills its promises. In many areas in which reconciliations and settlements took place, people are living in security and peace. The other day, I watched a report on television which shows that Zabadani is again a place for restaurants and parties and a peaceful life.

So let no one hide behind this issue. Let no one wait for the UN and wait for a political solution in Syria or the like. What I recommend and call for is: do not deal with such issues as a political issue or a political conflict or a financial file. Rather deal with it as a humanitarian file. Here I reiterate and say again: I call on the Lebanese government to take a responsible stance. Let it act based on the interests of the Syrian refugees and the interests of all the Lebanese people. Go and negotiate with the Syrian government, and you will see that things will move as smoothly according to the required guarantees. They are saying that they are worried, afraid, cautious, and the like.

Well, now we come to the third point on the Lebanese level. In my previous speech, I talked about parties, political forces, ministers, deputies, media outlets, and media, social, cultural, artistic elites...today, allow me on the Lebanese level to talk about officials from a moral perspective too, because that has to do with the negotiations and accordingly, stances will be taken in the future.

First, I want to talk about His Excellency the President of the Republic in a way that does not embarrass him being in the post of the president. He approved of negotiations taking place, otherwise, Major General Abbass Ibrahim could not have been able to carry out the negotiations without the approval of the President of the Republic at least. The President followed up the negotiations and offered all necessary facilitations to secure their success and assumed every responsibility for that.

On other hand, I implicitly know through evidence of his sympathy and love to the martyrs, the wounded, the fighters, and the people who offer sacrifices. What is also important on the official level is the speech he delivered on Army Day in which he considered the lastest victory for Lebanon as being the liberation of a dear area on the eastern border from the clutches of terrorist organizations, besides safeguarding security and peace in it. So a brave president of the republic came to say that this victory is a victory for Lebanon, and this victory liberated the outskirts from terrorist groups, and this victory safeguarded security and peace in that area. So they are a few sentences but taking into consideration the political complications that surround the president of the republic, the stance is very much advanced. Indeed, this is what is expected, and we offer him the highest appreciation.

Second: his Excellency the Prime Minister in fact adopted this battle from the very first day and followed its course in the field as we said. He also followed it when we started talking about negotiations and the details of the negotiations. He defended it forcefully, lauded it highly, and confronted steadfastly the sharp tongues because we had already taken our decision, and we were occupied in the battle. The Premier in fact confronted all the sharp tongues, and he dealt with the issue on a sympathetic, political, and humanitarian level, saying that those who are fighting in the Arsal Outskirts are his children, his family, and his people. This is a stance which is always highly appreciated. We were repeating the experience of July and August 2006.

Here I want to be fair from the very beginning. The Premier from the very beginning approved of the negotiations and agreed that the Major General launch the negotiations. He further offered all the facilitations, and I know that there are things on which he approved that might have caused him some embarrassment, however, he agreed because he cares for the success of the negotiations. Well, someone may say that I am showing very high morals, and he may discuss intentions. Well, let them discuss with us our negotiations; however, we have nothing to do with the intentions of people. Allah knows more of their intentions. Still, when anyone does something rightful, we appreciate his stance and his responsible conduct too. We must be fair to him even if we disagree politically.

Moreover, he said that Hezbollah achieved something in the outskirts. This is a step forward God willing. That's because were we to take into consideration the stance and the statements of the Future Movement and the Future bloc, we would have been in a totally different place.

Anyway, the (government) heads and the state acted with responsibility as per this issue, and this led to the full accomplishment of this victory - Praise be to Allah. Now everyone has a percentage or a share in this victory which he can magnify or diminish. There is no problem in that.

There is a third obligation under this topic, as we are talking about morals and offering thanks and appreciation, though some people would try to evade this. We in the Arsal Outskirts and Flitah outskirts, when we fight, we fight with capabilities, ammunitions, and expertise which we received primarily from the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran which never fell short in supporting us. Let the whole world know that when fighting the terrorist groups, it is the generous support of the Islamic Republic of Iran that stands behind us, supports us, and enables us to fight the terrorist Takfiri groups and gain victory over them. Indeed, the Islamic Republic plays other roles in this issue which took place, but we keep it for the coming days in order to benefit from it better later.

The fourth point: to complete what took place in the Arsal Outskirts, we still have the transfer of Saraya Ahl al-Sham from Wadi Hamid and Al Malahi and the other families who wish to leave too - the families of the Syrian refugees which are in these camps and wish to move to the Syrian interior within the framework of the Saraya Ahl al-Sham file. We are currently following it up since we wrapped up the previous issue at midnight or early morning.

The brethren started working with the concerned Syrian sides which previously gave the preliminary approval to achieve this issue as soon as possible God willing. Those (people) will be transferred to their destination, and they will reach it in security and peace with local guarantees, without the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and all the modifications which some may set.

The last point under this topic is the status quo. The area which was controlled by Nusra is liberated now. I do not want to reiterate the achievements. The results of the operation were announced by a statement issued by the Resistance operations room which tackled this issue. So I do not want to reiterate. We are now in the Arsal Outskirts. I said before and I will reiterate now that we are ready to hand over control to the Lebanese Army Command at any time they set without any reservations. We are ready from now and even from before now to hand the entire area which was liberated, all the posts, and all the points. Now I reiterate my belief and advice. We are not tired because we are heading to a new battle which I will talk about in a while. Still, I advise that this procedure take place as soon as possible for the good of the people of Arsal and the people of that area. As such, the people will feel assured. The people of Arsal may as well be able to gather their harvest such as cherry and apricot. They can manage to do that. People may return to their quarries and normal life. This issue is over for us. We have nothing in that area, and we do not want to impose our presence on anyone there, and we do not want to contact anyone there.

The residents of Arsal are our dear people, and this is their land and orchids and quarries, and they can go to their quarries. However, it is better that the army takes control of that area. Under the control and care of the army, the state would govern the area there and the movement of the people of Arsal, and this is better and preferable.

Hereof, I want to wrap up the first topic: we are before a mission which was successfully achieved. We are before a major victory, a military victory, and a triumph in the field that yielded important and advanced results.

The second topic pertains to Lebanon and what it is coming to and the remaining outskirts that are controlled by Daesh. I will tackle these points for the Lebanese public, which followed the first battle and wishes to follow the coming stage so that the Lebanese will be acquainted and aware of facts and figures.

Well, first under the second topic, I say that Daesh controls a vast area, part of which is Syrian territory and the other Lebanese territory. Now in the media outlets, you will see the map of the area controlled by Daesh. It is a wide area, and the border is approximately in the middle. Part of the land is inside Syrian territory, and the other part is in Lebanese territory, and it comprises what remains of the Arsal Outskirts - I am not sure if this is precise or not - as well as the al-Qaa Outskirts and Ras Baalbek Outskirts.

I hope no one will pick on us as per the total area controlled by Daesh. It is approximately 296 kilometers: 141 kilometers in Lebanon and 155 kilometers in Syria.

The borders are delineated. The Interior Minister said it is a disputed area. I believe the residents of Arsal disagreed with him in what he said. Should it be a disputed area later, the Syrians will argue with us over the mountains and the orchids. Anyway he corrected his mistake.

In fact, the border is clearly delineated. There is no problem whatsoever in the demarcation of the border. It is absolutely clear from both sides. The nature of the topology there is very similar to the Arsal Outskirts and Flitah Outskirts - meaning the previous battle. It has mountains and valleys. Its quarries are less but its topology is tough from both sides. That means that if the Lebanese want to liberate this area, they have to climb upwards, and if the Syrians want to liberate that area, they too have to climb upwards. The peaks and the highlands are controlled by Daesh. In saying this, I am giving you an idea about the geographical nature of the area over which the battle may be waged.

I said in the previous speech that when we are through with Nusra, we will talk, because I had some information that there is a new inclination as per the area controlled by Daesh. So I did not want to speak beforehand and announce a stance at that time. However now, it is clear in the whole country that the Lebanese Army is the side which will undertake the operation of the liberation of Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa Outskirts - let's say the rest of the Lebanese Outskirts to be precautious in what we say in case the residents of Arsal have a part of land there. This has become clear and overtly announced. All its preliminary measures have started. I want to proceed under this topic based on this fact. Thus I will move forward based on what was said before. Otherwise, concerning Hezbollah, it acts in coordination with the Syrian government. Before starting the operation in the area that was controlled by Nusra (Arsal Outskirts and Flitah Outskirts), we coordinated with the Syrian leadership to fight on both fronts (Nusra and Daesh) to end the armed presence this summer. However, we divided the battle to two parts. The first stage is Nusra, and the second stage is Daesh. Now it is excellent that Lebanon officially took a decision that the Lebanese Army will undertake this mission in the Lebanese territories and on the Lebanese front. That would be a development which may be described as historic and strategic. Whatever you may call it, it is absolutely excellent.

So, I hope no one will believe that he is taking anything which may have been ours.

Let me first comment on this orientation before moving to the battlefield. In the first place, the Lebanese Army is able to perform this operation no matter what its magnitude is. Some may talk about the ammunition, the arms, the number of soldiers... But I say that with the capacities, arms, number, and the competent command, officers, and soldiers it has, the Lebanese Army is indisputably able to achieve this mission. It does not need the help of anyone.

When we read in some communication means about American help or other aid, my view which I would like to say beforehand is that this is an insult to the Lebanese Army. If the great, competent, brave, Lebanese National Army needs American help from the Americans to liberate 141 kilometers squared, this would be a catastrophe. Well, I am sorry but we have to tackle this issue.

Anyway, it is excellent that the Lebanese Army took such a decision. Here between parenthesis I would like to say something to all those who evoked this argument. In fact, I do not want to debate; I only want to make a quick comment, and I will leave tackling this issue for later on. Always the problem is not in the military institution or the security institution in Lebanon. Never! The institution is competent, and there are excellent officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers.

The problem is in the political institution and in the political decision. Let's analyse what the Interior Minister was saying yesterday about the operation in the Arsal Outskirts. I do not want to accuse anyone. Indeed, I know this issue.

Who prevented the Lebanese Army from executing that operation? Is the Lebanese Army capable of performing that operation?

Indeed, the Lebanese Army is capable of doing so. Is it able to execute the operation in Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa and unable to execute the operation in the Arsal Outskirts? Both operations are the same; perhaps the second is more difficult - or is it the first? I do not know. Military men may decide on that. However, let's say at least they are the same or almost of the same toughness.

Why is it that now it is able and in the past it was not? No! From the very beginning it is able; however, the problem is in the political decision and the political institution. The same applies to previous cases when the army was attacked in past years. It is a wonderful coincidence that the same day on which Nusra and Daesh violated all of this area and Arsal, the army, and the security forces, is the very day on which they withdrew defeated. This is one of the blessings of Allah Almighty. When the army was attacked, its vehicles and tanks were hit, and its best officers and soldiers were killed and captured, why the decision was not taken then for the army to assume its responsibilities, no matter who the Premier and the President were at that time - they are concerned in taking the political decision.

The question is: who prevented it? Did we prevent them? Did Hezbollah prevent them? Allah Almighty and the army know at that moment who supported them, opened fire on them, and provided cover for them. Some people usually do not like to talk about this.

However, were the decision taken on that day, we were ready to support the army and this decision with our eyes and blood. It is not Hezbollah and it is not we who prevented defending the dignity of the army and the security forces and restoring the officers and the soldiers and that area. Go and inquire about who prevented that.

A couple of weeks ago who said no? Who prevented? Did we Hezbollah prevent so that all this uproar took place and the decision of war and peace was evoked? Did you take the decision of war and we competed with you on it? Did you take the decision of liberating occupied territories and we competed with you on it? Did you take the decision of liberating the captives and we prevented you and competed with you? Did you take a decision to expel the terrorists who killed your soldiers, officers, and people, and we prevented you?

Anyway, go and ask who wants to build a state. We have an integrated army, security forces, and institutions. We have a problem in the political decision, the political mind, the political choices, and the official political leadership.

Today surely we link great expectations to the presence of personalities such as General Michel Aoun as a president, and we consider that to be a great development, and we bet on him on the decisive war on terrorism and the terrorist groups, and that he after all is able to take the state in that direction.

So the problem was here, and whoever wants to solve the problem, its solution is here. It is not the story of arms. Give that side arms, and leave the field for it.

Should we have stepped aside three years ago, the flood of refugees in Arsal was telling the Nusra Front to continue their way to Beirut. This is on social communication sites. Should we have exited from the confrontation, where would the country have been? Forget about us. Go and build a state.

If we have the strongest army, the best arms, and the best security apparatuses, yet have a political leadership which is unable to take a political decision, gives consideration to foreign factors more than to internal interests, and cares for a wink from this minister and a wink from that ambassador and at times an article in the New York Times is enough to change the political track, then that won't lead to the building of a state.

Now let's go back to our main point; I will continue this later. I will also postpone talking about sovereignty, the state, the outskirts, the land, the human being, security, and the people. Its time will come later.

Unless new decisions arise, since this decision is taken, we are heading towards a battle. The Lebanese Army will fight on Lebanese territories.

Tonight I will popularly and officially announce what we will report to officials. Wherever we are present on Lebanese territories, we - Hezbollah - are at the service of the Lebanese Army and the Command of the Lebanese Army. We are ready for whatever service you need. Stop here! We will stop. Help us here! We will help you. Confront. Erect a confrontation line as the army did in Arsal. We will erect that line. Leave this area for us to act at our ease. We will leave it. Hand us the area. We will hand it.

We are with you, next to you, and under your service in whatever you want from us. We want for this battle eventually and emotionally to end in a quick decisive victory God willing, and we are praying that this victory would be achieved with the least human costs because every officer and soldier in the Lebanese Army that is martyred is our brother, son, and dear one.

This is Lebanese land, and we have no conditions whatsoever. Our hand is open to the other.

As per the Syrian front, it will also be open to Daesh. The Syrian Army and Hezbollah will be on the Syrian front. I said that the area is almost divided equally. Perhaps the confrontation on which fighting will take place on the Syrian front is a bit longer from the confrontation line on which fighting will take place on the Lebanese front. We will fight there, and we will be present there.

Now let's talk morals and human values. Let no "political philosopher" in Lebanon say that the Syrian Army and Hezbollah must not fight on the Syrian front, and that the Syrian front must be silenced. It goes without saying that when there are two open fronts on one area, whether we like it or not, people will coordinate with each other and talk with each other.

So do not hide behind your finger. If a "philosopher" in Lebanon turns around and says that the Syrian front must remain silent, he would be conspiring against the Lebanese Army, the officers and soldiers in the Lebanese Army, and the people and their sons. Why is it so? That's because if that front is calm and no bullet is being shot and no attacks are being staged, that would mean that Daesh will gather all its forces to fight the Lebanese Army. All its militants and fire would be against us, and we must be cautious with Daesh as it may resort to suicide bombers, and consequently, we will put the Lebanese Army before a costly confrontation. It will gain victory after all, but the confrontation will be costly. So let's put political grudge and annoyance aside and deal morally with this battle. There are people on the other front too who are offering their children and dear ones whether they are Syrians or Lebanese. After all, getting rid of Daesh from these outskirts is a Lebanese and Syrian interest.

Consequently, the front will be one front. I also want to add that the timing of the front is in the hands of the Lebanese Army in the first place, because on the other front, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah are ready. We were ready after we were through with Nusra.

What postponed the attack is the new development in the form of the Lebanese Army assuming this responsibility over the Lebanese territories.

Should the front be opened from both sides, that would fasten the victory, and it would make victory be achieved with fewer costs for everyone. Here when we talk about costs, we do not talk about money, arms, and ammunition. We are talking about human beings. We are talking about the best men in Lebanon and the best men in Syria.

This is what we are heading for.

The last point under this topic before reaching the end is an address to Daesh who are now in these mountains and these outskirts. The leadership of Daesh must know that there is a final decision, and nothing is postponed. The battle is not postponed for the next spring or summer. Perhaps few days separate us from the battle with Daesh. I do not know for sure, because the decision is in the hand of the Army in the first place. However, it must be known that the Syrians took a decisive and final decision, and consequently, Daesh can't remain in the Syrian mountains and outskirts. On the Lebanese level, Daesh will face a battle that will attain national Lebanese consensus perhaps for the first time, and this is more of a miracle. Consequently and apparently, all the Lebanese will stand behind the Lebanese Army - and this is what is taken for granted, and they will offer all the political, media, and field support if that is required to accomplish this mission. I will tell Daesh that the Lebanese and the Syrians will overcome you from all fronts and confrontation lines. In the Arsal and Flitah Outskirts, we were fighting on two fronts. No, they were rather four. Now, we will come from all fronts and confrontation lines, and you will not be able to remain steadfast in this battle. This battle has no horizons; it is rather a losing battle for you. You are definitely losers, and should you fight, you will be either killed, or wounded, or captured. For this reason, it is better to make good calculations.

Nusra did not listen to what we said, and they tried. Now you can think very well. After all, the door may be open to negotiations, though conditions may be different because there is a central cause represented in the captives from the Lebanese Army soldiers and the Lebanese security forces.

Anyway, this issue will be addressed in this battle whether through negotiations or through the battlefield, and we will come to know the results. You are before two choices. You have little time; a day or two or three. I am not sure what the Army leadership will decide on. Make your decision. Should you choose the field, the field is ready and its result is final for sure, and as His Excellency the President said on Army Day, Lebanon will be before a new victory too. On the Syrian front, we too will be before a new victory. The issue is now in their hands.

The last issue which I want to tackle is political investment. Well, in what does Hezbollah want to invest the battle of the Arsal Outskirts? Make some suggestions on how we may invest our victory in Arsal!!! O my brother! We are defending our land, people, and villages - Muslims and Christians. The investment is that we are doing our obligation towards Allah and our people. We offered all the sacrifices. If there is anything more, tell us about it because you are more expert in investments. If anyone among you does anything of trivial or little importance, he remains fighting for investing it politically for 100 years. We will go back to this later.

Now we reached the last point which I will tackle tonight. It is an old issue but it was evoked in the cabinet and in some media outlets. It was even leaked on purpose in some media outlets because there are some sides which have the intention to cause sabotage. Consequently, I am concerned in commenting on it. It is the issue concerning Lebanon and Kuwait.

The issue was evoked some time ago, and it is aroused in Kuwait. It is the Abdaly Cell which they called the Cell of Hezbollah. Indeed, the state calls it the Abdaly Cell but there are people in Kuwait - because of some political affiliations, especially those who came to Syria and fought and brought along money, and bought rockets and killed and slaughtered - who have an interest in creating big trouble in the country. Thus they say the Cell of Hezbollah. I want to comment on this issue because it was leaked to the media; otherwise, over the past period of time, we were trying to address the stance through certain means.

First, I want to assert Hezbollah's great care and final assertion for the best relations between Lebanon and Kuwait, between the two states and the two peoples. We acknowledge for Kuwait its support to Lebanon and its good intention when it offered help even after the July War. The stance of Kuwait towards Lebanon was always very good and that is highly appreciated, and we are thankful.

We in Hezbollah care for the good ties between the two states and the two people, and we do not want anything to stain these ties, and we do not want any minute details that may harm this relation. We are ready to discuss any ambiguity via diplomatic channels or official channels away from any machination whether in Lebanon or in Kuwait - at the level of some political forces. We also are keen on addressing the latest developments with wisdom and calmness God willing.

As per this cause there are two parts. The first part is related to Hezbollah in Lebanon or "we" - the Hezbollah whom they talk about. The other part is related to the Kuwaiti brethren - some of them are arrested, and the others are not in custody. They were tried, and the sentences were issued, and they were accused.

As per the Kuwaiti brethren, they defended themselves and hired a lawyer. They used the available means to clarify the issue, and consequently, I will not interfere in this except if I was forced to talk about it in the future because I am following up the issue, and I have information to this effect.

I will rather talk about the part related to Hezbollah. I want to tell the Kuwaiti officials and the Kuwaiti people based on a truth that the whole world knows: in case I want to talk about something, and we are accused, whether that was in an Arab country or in a non-Arab country, I am not afraid of saying the truth.

In the past, when one of our brethren was arrested in Egypt, several people suggested that we do not talk or adopt what took place. However, I appeared on television and adopted the incident. I said that this is one of our brethren, and we commissioned him for a mission which was against the law in Egypt. Well, we said that we will see how to address the issue. That was our intention. I would like to remind you that the brethren - one brother - was accused of a conspiracy to topple the regime.

Anyway, also we declare overtly that we are in Syria. We declare overtly (regarding) whatever place we go, and we are not afraid of that. I have nothing to be afraid of - I only care for national and Arab interests. Accordingly, what is said to the effect that we sent arms to Kuwait is not correct. I do not want to use other descriptions. Let's address the issue calmly. It is not true that we sent arms to Kuwait, it is not true that we have arms in Kuwait, it is not true that we purchased arms in Kuwait and gave them to someone else, it is not true that we smuggled arms to Kuwait. Nothing of this is true at all.

Now there is an arsenal, and you know the details about it. That is a Kuwaiti affair, and I do not want to approach it now. However, it is not true to say that Hezbollah purchased arms, sent arms, smuggled arms, stored arms, or has arms in Kuwait.

Second: it is being called the Cell of Hezbollah. This is not true. Hezbollah has no cells in Kuwait, and it did not form cells in Kuwait whatsoever. It does not have cells or members in Kuwait within its organization, duties, and work.

Does Hezbollah have supporters in Kuwait? Yes, it has supporters everywhere in the world. However, it does not have members, cells, or arrangements, whether they are Lebanese or Kuwaiti. This accusation is not correct.

It is really ridiculous that they are accusing Hezbollah of instigating the Kuwaiti brethren or colluding with them to topple the regime. This is similar to the accusation against our brethren in Egypt who were similarly accused of toppling the regime in Egypt.

This is groundless. We did not instigate them, and they are not thinking in such a way too. Allow me to defend them. It never crossed the mind of any of those accused - neither the elderly, the young, the scholars, the ministers, the youth, the teenagers, the men, nor the women - to topple the regime or fight the regime, or rebel against the regime or sabotage peace in Kuwait at all, and I bear witness to that before Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. This is my information.

On the contrary, get me one person who is ready to come and say he came and sat with a Hezbollah member or with me and that we instigated them against the government in Kuwait or the Prince of Kuwait or the officials in Kuwait. On the contrary, we always talk and support a political inclination which comprises participating in the parliamentary and municipal elections, partaking in the government, cooperating with the authority, observing the law, observing the order, national unity, positivity, security, civil peace...

This is the true stance. This is the stance of Hezbollah. We never wanted for Kuwait except all that is good, security, peace, and integrity, and all these accusations which were made towards Hezbollah are invalid. Allow me to tell you that these are political accusations, and go and search for those who stand behind them.

Anyway, I do not want to talk about anyone other than me; if needed, I will talk later about others.

I hope that God willing this issue will be addressed in Kuwait. I tell you without courtesies that we bet and appreciate the fatherhood of his highness the Prince of Kuwait and his wisdom. I am one of the people who were very much moved when I watched the conduct of His Highness the Prince and how he acted on the day Daesh bombed the Mosque of Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him). Thus I hope that Kuwait will God willing emerge from this crisis which is given more than its magnitude. It is used in political liquidations and manipulated for regional considerations. God willing this crisis would end up leading to that which will boost the security, integrity, coexistence, national unity, and sovereignty of Kuwait.

I reiterate that the big bet is on the fatherhood and wisdom of his highness the Prince in addressing this file. In case there is any ambiguity concerning any point linked to us or to our stance, we are ready - via the means you find appropriate and via the official channels - to clarify this ambiguity and cooperate in any direction for the sake of the welfare of Kuwait and the welfare of Lebanon. May Allah bestow prosperity on you all.

Let's return to our original issue. Should Daesh act logically, there is a chance. I do not know if that would work out or not. We have to talk with the brethren in Syria to see if that would be addressed or not. That will not be easy too. Anyway, the door is open. Should they choose confrontation, we will head towards a national confrontation which enjoys a national consensus in a noble battle in which we will all gain victory, God willing.

Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

/106


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