The recent Israeli attacks in Syria on storage sites for weapons that may have been kept for use by the Lebanese Hizbollah continued to spiral a dangerous dynamic.
Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to open a new battlefront against Israel to recover the Golan Heights. He said on Thursday the group “will stand by the Syrian popular resistance that is aimed at liberating the Syrian Golan”. Without specifying any timeline, he said his organisation may receive game-changing weaponry from Syria, signalling that despite the internal conflict, the military relationship between Damascus and Hizbollah has continued to flourish.
“We — the Resistance — declare we are ready to receive any game-changing weapons, and we are ready to possess and protect them, and use them to defeat the aggression against our people, our land and our holy places.”
Anticipating its discomfort with the accommodation of the Syrian regime in future diplomacy, the U.S. sent its withdrawn Ambassador from Syria, Robert Ford, for urgent talks with the opposition along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Media reports said Mr. Ford briefly crossed into the Syrian side of the border for a brief encounter with the opposition before returning to Turkey. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Rome on Thursday, said he had asked Mr. Ford to travel to Istanbul, and engage in talks with the Syrian opposition, which he said had been “very productive.” A day earlier, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Mr. Ford was engaging with the Syrian opposition “to talk with them not only about our increasing support and their needs, but also about the opportunities for a political transition”.