BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said Sunday his group now has twice as many precision-guided missiles as it had a year ago, saying Israel’s efforts to prevent it from acquiring them have failed.
Hassan Nasrallah, in an end-of-year interview with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV, said his group has the capability to strike anywhere in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Nasrallah said that when Israel threatened through a US official to target a Hezbollah facility in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa region, his group warned it would retaliate for any such attack.
Israel has in recent months expressed concern that Hezbollah is trying to establish production facilities to make precision-guided missiles.
During the four-hour interview, Nasrallah said there are many matters related to his group that Israel has no knowledge of because those are kept in a “very tight circle.”
Nasrallah also said that the last few weeks of the administration of US President Donald Trump are critical and must be treated with care. He called Trump “angry” and “crazy.”
The Iran-backed Hezbollah is a sworn enemy of Israel, with which it has had a series of confrontations, including a full-scale war in 2006.
Nasrallah repeated vows that Iran and its allies will avenge the US killing of the commander of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Qassim Soleimani, in a drone attack a year ago in Iraq.
“That revenge is coming no matter how long it takes,” he told Al-Mayadeen TV, sitting with a picture of Soleimani to his left.
Nasrallah also vowed to avenge Israel’s killing of a Hezbollah fighter in Syria earlier this year.
Addressing the incoming US administration of President Joe Biden, Nasrallah said Iran would not negotiate with the US on behalf of its allies or discuss conflicts in the region. He said Tehran would talk with Washington only about the Iranian nuclear deal, from which Trump withdrew.