Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned on Wednesday of a “very costly” war “without limits” if the situation at the Lebanon-Israel border escalates into a full-scale conflict.
The speech by the head of the Iranian-backed terror group came a day after the targeted killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, which was attributed to Israel.
Hezbollah has been waging a low-intensity conflict against Israel since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of some 1,200 people in the Jewish state.
“Until now, we are fighting on the [Israel-Lebanon] front with set calculations, but if the enemy [Israel] wages war on Lebanon, our fight will be without limits, rules and regulations, and it [Israel] knows what I mean,” the terror chief said.
“Who thinks about engaging in a war with us will regret it, God willing! The war with us will be very, very, very costly. If we have so been so far taking into consideration the Lebanese situation and national interests, if war is waged in Lebanon, the Lebanese national interests require that we engage in the war until the end without regulation,” the radical Shi’ite cleric continued.
Jerusalem has not taken responsibility for the strike in the suburb of Dahiya, a Hezbollah stronghold, which also killed six other Hamas operatives. It was the first strike in the Lebanese capital attributed to Israel since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Al-Arouri was one of the top Hamas leaders on Israel’s target list following the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 massacre.
Nasrallah condemned the assassination, saying that “yesterday’s crime will not go unpunished,” adding that he would give more details about the response in another speech on Friday.
He delivered the video speech to a Hezbollah ceremony in Dahiya held to mark the fourth anniversary of the U.S. assassination in Baghdad of Iran’s Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani and militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Senior Hezbollah member killed in Israeli strike
The terror group said overnight Wednesday that Hussein Yazbek, a senior official overseeing operations in the Naqoura area of southern Lebanon, had been killed in an Israeli airstrike.
According to the Hezbollah statement, three other members of the organization were also killed in the strike on a building in the small coastal city near the Israeli border: Ibrahim Fahs, Hossein Ghazala and Hadi Reda. They were reportedly Yazbek’s bodyguards.
In addition, the terror group took responsibility for 11 operations against Israel that were carried out in the past day.
IDF chief holds situational assessment at northern border
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi held a situational assessment on the northern front with commanders and reservists, including commander of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Uri Gordin and the commander of Division 210, Lt. Col. Zion Retzon.
“My impression is that we are in [a state of] very strong readiness in the north; I visit here a lot,” said Halevi. “I think the readiness is at its peak. There is a great deal of knowledge, there is good ability and there is high morale.”
He emphasized that “we are very well prepared in all sectors and we are currently focusing on fighting Hamas.”