Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it backs Syria cease-fire

Hezbollah's longtime leader Hasan Nasrallah making a speech to his supporters

Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Lebanon’s Shia Hezbollah movement has said his party backs the cease-fire in Syria.

Speaking in a televised appearance recently, Nasrallah referred to the Russia, Iran and Turkey brokered agreement in Astana last month and said, “We support the agreement that will stop the bloodshed and create a national consensus in Syria.”

Hezbollah was accused recently by some Arab media of being against the cease-fire and stoking what many see as a sectarian war. The Hezbollah leader said victory for the Syrian Arab Army in Aleppo had changed the balance of things in Syria and that the international community had started fighting terrorist organisations in Syria after 6 years. Nasrallah said Turkey’s change of stance against the Islamic State group was an example of this.

The Shia Islamist group has been a longtime ally of the Syrian government and became actively involved in the Syria conflict in 2012 on the side of Bashar al-Assad. According to reports the group has lost at least 1,500 fighters since.

Nasrallah recently called new US President Donald Trump an “idiot” and said it was “the beginning of relief for the oppressed around the world.”

The comment came after Trump vowed to take a stronger stance against Iran and groups supported by the Islamic Republic. Iran is seen as a key sponsor of Hezbollah with both belonging to the Shia branch of Islam.