Speech of Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, on May 5th, 2015
In this speech, Hassan Nasrallah analyses the fall of Idleb and Jisr al-Choughour in the hands of the terrorist groups as mere local setbacks that should not obscure the major advances of the Syrian Arab Army. He denounces the announcements of the coming fall of the regime as the result of the media and psychological war waged for four years against Syria, and reaffirms the support of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah to Syria.
Translation from Arabic: Sayed 7asan
Translation from French: Jenny Bright
Thirdly, in regards to Syria. I will cover certain points in a way that’s very frank and explicit.
Recently, and after the fall of the town of Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib province into the hands of terrorist groups, we have seen – the Syrians, the Lebanese and the wider region – a wave of slogans and allegations, media hype on TV channels and other media, in statements, articles, and news on social networks.
All this, of course, is part of the psychological war, and you know that behind the scenes, psychological warfare has been waged against this region for many years. And this psychological war is constantly renewed in order to take advantage of any opportunity, development or incident to launch new waves of psychological warfare on people. Of course, some of these statements have focused on sectarian aspects. What was the main purpose of all this? What did they mean by all this media hype?
They claimed (let us be frank and explicit), that after the fall of Jisr al-Shughour and Idlib in the hands of armed groups, the regime was over, and that we were witnessing its last days, its last weeks. They have worked to disseminate this scenario, which I briefly summarise in order to comment on it, because it is part of their psychological warfare: they claim that the Syrian army has lost its fighting ability and is collapsing.
As part of this (psychological) war, others claim that Syria’s allies have abandoned her, that Iran sold it for its nuclear deal, and that Russia has also abandoned it for some reason, that all Syria’sallies have turned away.
They still claim in their statements and lies, that the internal situation in Syria is difficult, that people want to desert, flee, take refuge elsewhere, etc. They paint a terrible and very strange image; one example of their lies, is that all the Syrian coast is about to fall. And therefore, this is the sectarian aspect of their propaganda, they claim that a large number of Alawites are leaving the Syrian coast, heading for the Lebanese border, that the Lebanese government prevents them from entering and that Hezbollah lobbies to allow them to enter Lebanon. Completely groundless and senseless lies.
Other allegations claim that the Syrian regime asked the Alawites from Damascus or from certain regions of Damascus to leave the town (before it’s too late). But all that has no basis.
Therefore, what we are seeing and what we have seen before, is a psychological war seeking to break the will of the Syrians, their determination and perseverance, and who wish to obtain through lies, false allegations and psychological warfare, that which they were unable to get by the means of a world war imposed on Syria for four years.
Of course, sometimes such claims are successful, such as in Mosul, Salahuddin, this experienced of Daech in Iraq worked, because much of the war consisted of false allegations and psychological warfare.
So let us talk about this.
Firstly, nobody should believe these lies and statements and give in to this psychological warfare. This is of the greatest importance. We must all be aware, especially the Syrians and Lebanese, that all that is said is nothing but psychological warfare, and this is not new. For four years we have heard that this is the end of the regime, the army, that people want to surrender, they want to escape etc., etc. And it must be emphasised that when we started hearing all this four years ago, the situation was much more difficult than it is today. The situation inside Syria, the battles inside the territory, in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, inside towns, in many provinces, as well as the regional situation (of the Middle East), the international situation, etc., was much worse. Today, things are very different. International and regional developments, the developments inside Syria that took place in recent years have put us far from everything that these statements claim.
For example, it was said in particular – I’m going to respond to this point by point. First, what is said about the Iranian position is not true: just a few days ago, in a speech, His Eminence Imam Khamenei (may God protect him) evoked exactly this issue and affirmed: “We negotiate on the nuclear issue, and on nothing else. And even while we are occupied with nuclear negotiations, we remain very attentive to the interests of our allies, and absolutely nothing will be done that will be to the detriment of our allies.” All these statements are meaningless – the idea that Iran has abandoned Syria or would be about to do so.
The same goes for Russia, although so far, I do not know Russia as well as I know Iran, but there is no sign, not the least, however small, suggesting that Russian leaders are about to abandon the situation in Syria, or have begun to do.
Yes, it is true that there can sometimes be setbacks on the ground, but we need to investigate the causes directly. For example, the fall of Idlib. Let’s ponder why Idlib fell. Let us observe the situation of armed groups, the situation of the army, the situation of forces engaged there, whether there is a problem or not, whether it be at the level of management, logistics, etc. Jisr Al-Choughour has fallen? Why is this? So we must look for the causes precisely where the problem is found. We need not automatically search for the causes at the international or regional levels, with the allies, the internal situation, the will of the regime, the army, etc.
How could this regime be dislocated, and this army decaying, while they are fighting on many fronts, they hold out on many fronts and there achieve victories, sometimes daily? How is this possible, how to reconcile the propaganda and the reality on the ground?
Faced with setbacks, the proper approach, wherever they occur, is to focus on the causes that led to the setback, so as to be able to address them and thus prevent a repetition of events. In any war, my brothers and sisters, there are battles. Whoever wins a battle will not necessarily win the war. The Syrian army, the national and popular defence forces and Syria’s allies won battle on battle for 4 years and to date, but they have never claimed that they had won the war. And even if we lose a battle, it does not mean that we have lost the war. The Syrian army and their allies have continued to win many battles in recent years, battles that were long, difficult and major.
Therefore, all we or they can say is that there was a battle at a certain place, and that this side has won or lost. But to hastily deduce from the outcome of some battle who will win the war and exploit them as part of a psychological war is far from the reality on the ground.
All these people leading these psychological wars have continued to disappoint the hopes of their masses and their supporters, and they deceive themselves and see their hopes dashed when the situation changes after another battle. And the situation is changing in many battles, and this will continue (in the government’s favour) God willing.
These then are the true proportions of events, and no one should have undue worry.
Obviously, here in Lebanon we have people who are very hasty, and multiplying precipitous actions for 4 years, again and again, they mutually congratulate each other for a supposed victory, before discovering that this new festivity was on false grounds, that there is no fiancé or fiancée, and that they were all making fun of each other.
Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant on this issue, and be aware of all these aspects.
As for Hezbollah, I also want to say tonight to our loved ones and our beloved Syrian people in Syria this: We were with you, and we are with you, at your side, whatever the developments may be. Wherever we needed to be, there we went. And wherever we must be, we’ll be there. And lately, we intervened in places where we had never been in past years.
We consider that this struggle is not the struggle of the Syrian people, and that’s what we have said from the beginning of our involvement in this war. We did not intervene for emotional, personal, or sectarian reasons, or because of a party spirit. We acted on the basis of a clear vision that has not changed, on the contrary, all the events confirm it day after day, namely the belief that by our intervention, we defend Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and the entire region.
Let us therefore put hatred and resentments aside and take a clear understanding of reality, let us consider it with clarity: if, God forbid, armed splinter groups had been able to take control of Syria for 4 years, what would have been the fate of Syria and the Syrian people? What would have been the fate of Lebanon and the Lebanese people? What would have been the fate of the region? Just look around you to know the answer to that question.
As for us, it is our firm conviction, it is our responsibility. And I confirm tonight that we will continue to assume this responsibility regardless of the sacrifices.