In Brief: Hezbollah vows it will keep its weapons as Lebanon protests moun

Hassan Nasrallah has vowed that Hezbollah will keep its weapons as protests against Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis have continued. In a fiery address, the terror group leader (pictured) pledged on Tuesday evening: “Our weapons will remain in our hands and we will not starve; we will kill you.” Protesters took to the streets of Beirut and Tripoli again last week as anger at the country’s deepening economic woes mount. The Lebanese pound has fallen to record lows, having lost 70 percent of its value since October when protests began. The financial crisis – which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic – has led to one-third of the population out of work. Currency controls and limits by banks on dollar withdrawals have also caused poverty to rise sharply. The current government is dominated by Hezbollah and its supporters, making the terror group a target for protesters.

In an apparent reference to new sanctions on the Assad regime, Nasrallah blamed the United States for the turmoil in Lebanon, saying Washington is pressuring Lebanese banks to withhold dollars from the Lebanese economy. “The US is using Lebanon and its economy to achieve their interests, among which are Israel’s security and the land and maritime borders,” Nasrallah claimed. Alongside its paymaster Iran, Hezbollah has been a key ally of the Syrian government. The new US sanctions target any country or entity that does business with the Syrian government. But Hasrallah said the alleged US plot against Lebanon would fail. “Whoever puts us between the option of withdrawing our weapons or killing us with hunger, we say: ‘Our weapons will remain in our hands and we will not starve – we will kill you’.”
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