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Nasrallah, Assad ties stronger than ever

Hassan Nasrallah's defense of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian conflict sheds light on the nature of his relationship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wave flags and a picture depicting (L-R) Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Syria's late President Hafez al-Assad, father of current President Bashar al-Assad at a protest against a film made in the U.S. that mocks the Prophet Mohammad, in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil September 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho    (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTR38A9D
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While Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was taking part in a televised interview on Dec. 3, a special security unit was carrying out the assassination of Hassan Laqis, one of the most prominent leaders in the Party of God. The timing suggests that the perpetrators wanted to refute the message Nasrallah intended to deliver during his interview; in particular, his assertions that the party's militants are fighting in Syria and on its border with Lebanon to prevent extremists from pouring into Lebanon. Many have also suggested that the perpetrators purposely timed the operation to coincide with Nasrallah's television appearance to leave no doubt about the link between the two events.

During the interview, Nasrallah stressed that his party is engaged in a pre-emptive war in Syria to prevent Lebanon from turning into another Iraq. He said that the porous border between Syria and Iraq was allowing extremists to move back and forth between the two countries, leading to a terrifying increase in car bomb attacks in Iraq. He added that Hezbollah fighters had prevented extremists from controlling Lebanon's border areas, thus protecting the country from the carnage Iraqis are experiencing.

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