Beirut, Lebanon – Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said his group is determined to continue its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) following a double suicide bombing in Beirut’s southern suburbs that killed 43 people and left over 200 injured.
Nasrallah made the remarks in a somber speech delivered on Saturday evening, two days after the country was rocked by ISIL’s attacks and a day after coordinated attacks in Paris left more than 125 dead.
Focusing largely on the recent events in Lebanon, he swore Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia group currently fighting alongside the Syrian army in Syria, will “search for open fronts with Daesh [ISIL]”.
“Their goal is to pressure the resistance to withdraw from the battle against the takfiris in Syria,” he said in his televised address.
“[These bombings] will bring the opposite results. If they assume killing our men and women and children and burning our homes and markets will shake our will and determination, they are wrong.
“It will increase our determination. We fought ISIL and other groups on several fronts, and after this we will search for [ISIL] on open fronts and fight them there.”
Several people have since been arrested for their involvement in the twin suicide attacks.
The attacks took place in Burj el-Barajneh, a popular, predominantly Shia neighbourhood in Dahiyeh, Beirut’s southern suburbs.
Preliminary investigations have revealed the identity of one of the suicide bombers as a Syrian national, and the second has yet to be identified. Those involved in the network around the attacks include Syrian and Lebanese nationals.
‘Fighting the same enemy’
Eager to ensure calm between the different communities in Lebanon, Nasrallah went on to warn against a plot by groups like ISIL to create strife between the Lebanese and the Palestinian refugees, the Lebanese and the Syrian refugees, and the Sunnis and Shia Muslims.
“His speech was a political message,” said Elias Hanna, a retired Lebanese general and military analyst. “He’s saying that [ISIL] won’t defeat Hezbollah in Dahiyeh.
“This strengthens Hezbollah in the region, because he’s showing everyone that if Hezbollah doesn’t fight them in the Qalamoun [the Lebanese-Syrian mountain range where Hezbollah was embroiled in battles against ISIL and al-Nusra Front], they will come here,” he continued.
“He was also delivering a message to the world, after the events in France, telling the people that Hezbollah is fighting the same enemy.”