Greater Middle East (bbabo.net), - Pravda.Ru special correspondent Daria Aslamova met in Lebanon with the Deputy Secretary General of the Hezbollah party, Sheikh Naim Kassem. He told how the Middle East helps the Palestinians in Gaza, what Israel lost as a result of the genocide in Gaza, and why the West does not want to start a third world war - neither in Ukraine nor in the Middle East.
— World media write that Israel is planning to clear Hezbollah from the north of Lebanon. Will there be an Israeli offensive soon?
“Now what is happening in the south of Lebanon depends on what is happening in Palestine and how events will develop in Gaza. If the hostilities in Gaza end, then everything will calm down in Lebanon.
But with no sign that the fighting in Gaza will end, Israeli leaders are frightening Lebanon that they will open a second front in Lebanon. We don't want hostilities to expand. But we don't know how serious these threats are. If they continue to expand, naturally, we will also respond - stronger than now. They can threaten as much as they want, but it is useless to intimidate us.
“If Israel now deals with Hamas, then its number two target is Hezbollah.” Is your organization aware of this?
“We don’t think Israel will do this.” Four months have passed since the conflict in Gaza escalated, and Israel has still not achieved any of its stated goals. And it is not known what will happen next.
Israel has always behaved like a very aggressive state. Of course, we understand that Lebanon is also a goal for them, this is predetermined by the very essence of the Israeli state. We remember that they can attack at any moment, and we are constantly in a state of combat readiness. Some wonder why the resistance forces are always on guard, even during a truce. We just never forget who we are dealing with. Israel has an aggressive policy towards the countries of the region.
— After the attack on October 7, many expected that Hezbollah would open a second front and help Hamas. Why hasn’t this happened yet and are you even going to open a second front to help your brothers in faith?
“What we are doing now also, to some extent, draws Israeli forces away from Gaza. Our troublesome fire is causing disorder in the existence of the Jews. This is our goal now. We have achieved that part of the Israeli forces are pulled away from Gaza, they are forced to keep the contingent with them and at the same time remove their settlers from the north. This creates social tension in Israeli society, which is already a lot. Our task is not to use up all our weapons, since we are set up for a long confrontation and do not know how many weapons we will need in the future.
— Do Hamas and Hezbollah cooperate with each other here in Lebanon?
- Yes, of course, we cooperate. But the Hamas people are mainly fighting in Gaza, and we are standing here. They understand that their main task is resistance within Palestine itself, because their war is there.
“Now the entire Islamic world is protesting against what Israel is doing in Gaza. Fighters against the Zionist regime, Yemeni Houthis, and people in Syria have become more active in Iraq. They are all like a united front now. Do you maintain relations with any of them, for example, with the Yemeni Houthis?
— Everyone you listed makes their own decision about what to do. We have no overall command, no decision-making center that would tell everyone: “You will do this, and you will do that.” Everyone in their region decides for themselves according to the situation.
But all of the countries listed understand what is happening in Palestine, they want to help, they want to participate in the common cause. They see that it is very difficult for people in Gaza. Therefore, everyone takes part to the best of their ability, doing what they can, as far as their conditions and available weapons allow.
— How do you assess Israel’s operation in Gaza from a military point of view, is it successful?
“All the goals that the Jews loudly announced have not been achieved. For four months they achieved nothing. Even in northern Gaza, where Hamas is supposedly finished, Hamas is present and fighting with the same intensity as before.
So far, the Jews have not been able to free a single living hostage through military operations. Everyone they free dies from their own fire or from bombing. If hostages are released, it is only as a result of exchanges.
Israel itself has admitted that 80% of the tunnels are still in operation, with almost no damage to Hamas personnel. But now the whole world sees what crimes Jews commit, how they kill children, bomb hospitals, and commit genocide. The only thing Israel has achieved is a worsening of its reputation in the world.
Now in all Western countries that support Israel, there is a wave of popular protests, including in America, which is number one in supporting Israel. Many analysts say the American election will heavily depend on how a candidate views events in Gaza.
— What is Hezbollah’s relationship with Russia now?
— We have no problems with Russia. Very good, friendly relations, we discuss many issues and are constantly in contact.
— How do people in Lebanon and the Middle East in general view Russia’s special operation, which it is conducting in Ukraine?
“It all depends on the individual; everyone judges these events based on their own experience and knowledge. I cannot speak on behalf of the party, because there are different people in it, we think differently. Of course, we want the special operation to end as soon as possible, because it is clear that this is a confrontation with NATO, which has entered this region. We hope that everything will calm down and people will finally be able to live normally.
“Many view the conflict in Gaza and the collective West’s support for Israel as a stepping stone to expanding this conflict for a future attack on Iran. Will the collective West have a war with Iran?
— Of course, the events in Gaza are an American war through Israeli hands. The states are trying to ensure that Israel becomes a stick in their hands with which they will beat those they don’t like. If America could attack Iran, it would. She can not. Of course, they will continue to pursue anti-Iranian policies. But Iran is not a small and weak state, but a large and strong state. He has the capabilities to confront the Americans. And if such a war really happens, then all the cards will be confused and chaos will begin. Because this will be a clash between two very strong countries.
— In Russia they say that the conflict in Gaza and military actions on the border between Israel and Lebanon are the beginning of the third world war. Do you agree with this?
“There are no prerequisites for this conflict to escalate into a clash on a global scale. This is simply a war to strengthen Israel's position in the region. Perhaps Israel will seize the territory of neighboring countries to clear the region of resistance forces. But if the third world war begins, it will not be from Palestine.
— Now there is a tendency that the conflict is expanding throughout the region. Is a major Middle East war possible?
“Now a lot of effort is being made to finally establish peace; many negotiations are going on on this topic. I don’t think that the conflict will expand; rather, on the contrary, the parties will make peace. Look at what is happening in Ukraine: the West gives money, weapons, but does not participate in the war itself, because it does not want a third world war to start from there. It is unlikely that the West will behave differently in our region. After all, getting involved in the biggest war is dangerous, expensive, and it’s not clear how it will all end.