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Nasrallah threatens island nation of Cyprus for first time

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The Hezbollah leader also warned of an invasion of Israel’s Galilee if a wider war breaks out.

Joshua Marks

(JNS)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened an invasion of Israel’s Galilee region and an attack on Cyprus during a televised address on Wednesday concerning the terror group’s war against the Jewish state.

It marked the first time that the Iranian proxy steeped in Lebanon has directly threatened the Eastern Mediterranean island nation.

Nasrallah said Cyprus would be considered “a part of the war” if Nicosia continued to allow Israel to use its airports and bases for military exercises.

According to the Cyprus Mail, it is believed that the airports and bases refer to the Royal Air Force Akrotiri, a permanent military base that supports ongoing operations in the region and support for the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus.

An RAF Tornado GR4 on return to RAF Akrotiri Cyprus in 2014. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” he said.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides responded to Nasrallah’s threat, saying these “statements that do not reflect reality. Cyprus remains uninvolved in any military conflict, and positions itself as part of the solution—not as a problem,” the Cyprus Mail reported.

Christodoulidis added that “our humanitarian corridor is evidence of our commitment to peace and stability,” in an apparent reference to humanitarian aid shipments to the Gaza Strip via a Mediterranean Sea route established in recent months, with the vessels departing from the Port of Larnaca.

Nasrallah warned that Israel, not Hezbollah, should be fearful and that nowhere in Israel would be safe in the case of a wider war, which he said that Hezbollah is not seeking, with the terror army fighting with “no rules” and “no ceilings.”

The terror group has been pounding northern Israeli communities since joining the war in support of Hamas just one day after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been evacuated from border communities, and the Hezbollah rockets and drones have resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries, in addition to widespread physical destruction and of late, major fires, on the Israeli side.

Israel has responded with airstrikes on Hezbollah terror targets and operatives throughout Lebanon. However, the conflict has not blown into a full-scale war.

“An invasion of the Galilee remains on the table if the confrontation escalates,” Nasrallah proclaimed.

He added that the terror group would continue to support Gaza until a “complete and permanent ceasefire” is in place.

From left: Commander of the IDF Northern Command Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, IDF Chief of Staff. Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israeli Air Force Commander Tomer Bar during an operational assessment of the northern sector on June 19, 2024. Photo by Ariel Hermoni (IMoD).

‘Preparing for every scenario’

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi held an operational situation assessment with IDF’s Northern Command together with the head of the Northern Command and commander of the Israeli Air Force.

According to a statement by the Defense Ministry, they addressed developments in the northern arena, Gallant emphasizing thwarting the threat from drone attacks and efforts to eliminate senior Hezbollah officials.

“We are achieving readiness on land and in the air, strengthening our intelligence systems and preparing for every scenario,” Gallant said.

He also reminded that “we must all remember that Hezbollah started a war against us on Oct. 8”—a day after Hamas infiltrated the Gaza border and assaulted communities in southern Israel, murdering 1,200 people and kidnapping as many as 250. “We have an obligation to change the situation in the north and to ensure the safe return of our citizens to their homes, and we will find a way to achieve this.”

Image: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on May 8, 2023. Credit: Mohammad Kassir/Shutterstock.

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