Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has been able to stop al-Qaeda-linked militancy from spilling over into Lebanon, says Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Nasrallah was quoted by Lebanese newspaper al-Safir on Tuesday as saying that the resistance group foiled attempts by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to enter Lebanon.
“If we had not intervened in Syria at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way… the ISIL would now be in Beirut,” said the Hezbollah leader.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence for more than three years. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions of others displaced due to the turmoil fueled by the foreign-backed militants.
On June 10, the ISIL militants took control of Iraq’s Mosul, in a lightning advance, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.
Nasrallah extolled calls by Iraqi religious leaders for the people to take up arms and defend their countries, saying, “The aim of this (call) was not to protect a specific sect, but to protect all of Iraq.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes since the ISIL took the Nineveh provincial capital Mosul overnight.