Washington, Dec. 6 - Hezbollah, which already has an estimated 40,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel, is boosting its weapons stockpiles even more, the head of the Lebanon-based terrorist group, said in a rare public appearance in Beirut Tuesday.
"We are growing in numbers, our training is getting better and our weapons are increasing," Hassan Nasrallah said. "And for those who are betting that our weapons are rusting, we say that our weapons are being renewed."
Nasrallah mingled with and then spoke to a crowd of thousands of Hezbollah supporters who chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
Hezbollah is a terrorist group that dominates Lebanese politics and society, and fought a war with Israel in the summer of 2006. The group’s massive weapons stockpile is positioned in around 160 villages in southern Lebanon, embedded in the civilian population.
Hezbollah is backed by Iran and Syria, where the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is now engaged in a bloody crackdown in a so-far vain attempt to crush an eight-month-long popular uprising. A leading Syrian human rights group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), said Friday that the death toll from the violence had reached 4600.
Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak expressed concern that Hezbollah is planning to move advanced weaponry out of Syria before a possible Assad regime collapse.
Barak also said that recent missile tests by the Syrian regime were a “desperate step for a leader whose days in power are numbered."
"The Assad family is losing its grip and Syrian President Bashar Assad is doomed to fall," Barak said during a tour of an army drill in northern Israel.