Hezbollah leader says rumors of failing health untrue

In a televised speech Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah declares victory in Qalamoun, states rumors about health to be war-time propaganda

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

In a televised news broadcast on the Hezbollah owned Al Manar TV channel, Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah announced the group's victory in the battle for control over Syria’s Qalamoun on Saturday.

The Hezbollah leader also shot down rumors about his ill health and said that the drink he sips during speeches is not medicine, but lemonade.

Nasrallah dismissed rumours that he "has seemed drained -- sweating and reaching for water in recent TV appearances," as a part of psychological warfare waged by Syrian rebel groups.

Rumors questioning Nasrallah's health largely began in 2013 when Lebanese Radio reported that he has visited Iran to undergo treatment for cancer.

The report claimed that a team of doctors from Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and even Venezuela had convened in the Iranian city of Qom as part of an effort to improve Nasrallah's health.

Among the acts of alleged psychological warfare was the exaggeration of casualties on Hezbollah’s side intended to break the spirit of the group’s fighters.

According to Nasrallah the group lost only 13 soldiers, “not that the number is too low, every soul matters, but it’s definitely not 40-something.” 

“Hezbollah got the upper hand in its latest battle, in the Qalamoun mountains adjacent to Lebanon's border with Syria,” said Nasrallah.

"While we mark the Nakba [catastrophe] of the Palestinian people, we are also dealing with a new nakba and that is the scheme by ISIS and its supporters who are trying to divide the [Muslim] nation," said Nasrallah in his speech commenting on the Palestinian Nakba Day commemoration on May 15, the day Palestinians mourn the loss of their homeland. 

"Around 300km was retrieved from the control of the militants, most of it is in Syrian territory," he added.

Nasrallah also commented on the ongoing situation in Yemen where Iranian backed Shiite militias vying for armed control of the country are being targeted by Saudi-led air strikes. 

“The Saudi-led coalition offensive on Yemen could be worse than the Israeli Defense Forces' operations against Lebanon,” he said.  

Hezbollah, like the Houthis, is a group armed and sponsored by Iran which is active in Lebanon and entered the Syrian Civil War after rebel forces began threatening the supremacy of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, another ally of Iran. 


TRTWorld and agencies