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Hezbollah Eyes Offensive Within Israeli Borders

© AP Photo / Hussein MallaHezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah - Sputnik International
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Future armed engagements between Shia Lebanese Hezbollah forces and the Israeli Defense Force may occur within the Jewish state's borders, a top Hezbollah leader said Thursday.

"We have dismantled our bases there," Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told a TV station in Beirut. Instead, securing the border will now be the "responsibility of the state" of Lebanon.

Nasrallah's comments come within hours of Hezbollah scrapping military posts on the Lebanon-Syria border. "There is no need," Nasrallah said, for Hezbollah bases on the Lebanese eastern border.

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Those military resources might now go toward fighting the IDF, according to a warning from Nasrallah. "Israel has been threatening for 10 years to open a front against Hezbollah, but it hasn't done anything," he said Thursday.

"Israel is afraid of any confrontation because it could take place within its territory," the Hezbollah chief anticipated. 

Hezbollah, established in the 1980s, has been allied with the Syrian government army to fight terror groups like Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and many other nations. 

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Following combat experience Hezbollah troops accrued in the Syrian civil war, Israel now considers the group to be a full-on army rather than a mere guerilla organization, according to a Haaretz report. Israel does not take Nasrallah's threats lightly, the Israeli newspaper said while adding that a new offensive could jeopardize Galilee in Israel or other parts of northern Israel.

A victorious raid on Israeli positions would deal a major psychological "coup" to Israel, the Haaretz report added.

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