Hezbollah Leader Declares His Group Has 100,000 Fighters

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader declared for the first time on Monday that his powerful militant group has 100,000 trained fighters. His speech appeared to be meant as a deterrent to domestic foes following the nation’s worst internal violence in years.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah disclosed the size of the Shiite group’s militant arm in his first speech since seven people were killed in gunbattles on the streets of Beirut on Thursday — the worst street violence the city has seen in years. The confrontation erupted over a long-running probe into last year’s massive port blast in the city.

It is difficult to verify the 100,000 fighters figure as Hezbollah is largely secretive. If true, it would be larger than the size of Lebanon’s armed forces, estimated at about 85,000.

The speech came at a time of heightened tension in Lebanon over the clashes and the course of the investigation into the Aug. 4, 2020 blast in which over 215 people were killed.

“We have prepared (those fighters) with their diverse weapons to defend our territory, our oil and gas that is being robbed before the eyes of Lebanese, to protect the dignity and sovereignty of our country from any aggression (and) terrorism and not for internal fighting,” Nasrallah said.

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Source: CBN