- Title: Hezbollah sees more conflict in Syria and rising regional tension
- Date: 11th October 2016
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (OCTOBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) HEZBOLLAH LEADER NASRALLAH WALKING ON PLATFORM DURING RALLY FLANKED BY SECURITY NASRALLAH SUPPORTERS CHEERING FOR NASRALLAH
- Embargoed: 26th October 2016 20:45
- Keywords: Hezbollah Syria Lebanon Nasrallah
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Insurgencies
- Reuters ID: LVA00153KBI2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDIT CONTAINS ORIGINAL 4:3 MATERIAL
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Tuesday (October 11) the Middle East was in a phase of escalating tension and there appeared to be no prospect of a political solution to the war in Syria.
"The political environment, the optimistic one, the one that gave out positive indications, has ended, finished. The talks in Kuwait failed, the Russian-American deals, the Americans have suspended their participation. The situation in the region has gone back to tension, on several levels", he said in a rare live televised speech before thousands of supporters in Beirut.
Speaking about Syria, where the Iran-backed group is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Nasrallah said "there does not seem to be a path for a political solution or a political deal. I do not know if the remaining time of the current U.S. administration will be enough to do in a few weeks what they haven't done in the past year or more (overlayed with crowds listening). It does not seem like there is a solution in the horizon, what looks like is that the battleground is open for more tension and escalation and confrontation.''
However, large sections of his more than hour-long address, marking Shi'ite Islam's annual Ashura commemorations, were spent attacking Sunni power Saudi Arabia, the main regional rival of Iran, mostly over its military campaign in Yemen.
Nasrallah said the Saudi leadership were pushing their country to "the abyss" and accused Riyadh of being responsible for an air strike on a Yemeni funeral in the capital Sanaa on Saturday (October 8) that killed scores of people.
Saudi Arabia, which backs Syrian rebels, earlier this year marshalled other Arab states to denounce Hezbollah as a terrorist group, part of Riyadh's efforts to contain Iran's influence and reduce its ability to support Assad.
''Saudi Arabia insisting to continue its war on Yemen, it will not just lose in Yemen but it will lose itself too. The logic and laws of history say that it will lose itself. The current leadership in Saudi Arabia is driving the country towards the abyss,'' he said.
Hezbollah denies being involved in terrorism and Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism in his speech on Tuesday.
The thousands of Hezbollah supporters in the crowd, mostly dressed in the traditional dark colours worn by Shi'ites at Ashura, were shown repeatedly chanting "Death to the House of Saud", Riyadh's ruling dynasty, while pumping their fists in the air.
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