The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah movement says it has acquired sophisticated rockets despite Israel’s efforts to prevent it obtaining them.
Hassan Nasrallah told supporters it did not matter what the Israelis did to try to cut supply routes because the group already possessed “precision rockets”.
He did not produce evidence of this.
Israel, which in 2006 fought a war with Hezbollah, has conducted air strikes in Syria aimed at stopping Iran supplying its ally with advanced weaponry.
On Monday night, a Russian military reconnaissance IL-20 plane was accidentally shot down by Syrian air defence forces responding to a raid by Israeli jets on a Syrian military facility in the Mediterranean city of Latakia.
Russia blamed israel for the incident, in which all 15 members of the plane’s crew were killed. israel expressed sorrow for the deaths, but said responsibility for them lay with the Syrian military, as well as with Iran and Hezbollah.
Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have helped turn the tide of Syria’s civil war decisively in favour of President Bashar al-Assad in the past three years.
In a televised speech on Wednesday night, Hassan Nasrallah rejected Israel’s assertion that it had attacked the military facility in Latakia to prevent the transfer on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah of systems to manufacture accurate weapons.
He claimed that Israel was using Hezbollah and Iran as an “excuse”.