The second in command of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem said in an interview that he does not expect Israel to attack in the near future, but that his liberation brigades are ready to “confront aggression if it happens.”

Speaking to Reuters news agency, Sheikh Naim Qassem said his Iran-backed warrior group was prepared for war, but did not think Israel would launch an attack on Lebanon or Syria in the near future.

We have declared repeatedly and frequently that we, as the resistance, work to have permanent readiness and we are ready to confront the Israeli aggression if it happens, and therefore we are ready to defend ourselves by all available means.”

We are working to fortify our front, and to be ready.”

Qassem also said during the interview that Hezbollah was prepared to keep its forces in Syria for as long as necessary.

The interview took place as Israel concluded two nationwide emergency preparedness exercises, which tested both the General Staff’s ability to manage a war, and the Home Front Command’s ability to protect the country’s civilian population.

According to member of the IDF General Staff, the exercise focused on the Iran-led axis, which includes the Hezbollah, Syrian Arab Army forces, Shiite militias, and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.

In the meanwhile, the Iranian proxy has held on to its weapons and made efforts to obtain advanced weaponry, a development Israel has vowed to prevent. Dozens of air strikes on weapons convoys bound for Lebanon have been attributed to Israel by foreign media reports. It has also deployed units south of the Litani River.

The Times of Israel / AA Magnum News 2018.

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