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Nasrallah says Syria risks becoming like Iraq

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The speech marked the rebuilding of Beirut's southern suburbs, badly damaged in a 2006 war with IsraelHassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has accused the US, Israel and some Arab states of stoking "terrorism" in Syria during a speech broadcast to thousands of his supporters in southern Beirut.

"Who wants the destruction of Syria? America and Israel and some Arab countries," said Nasrallah, whose Shia movement is close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

"They want to destroy Syria because it is the main ally of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine."

Condemning deadly twin blasts that killed dozens and injured hundreds of people in Damascus on Thursday, Nasrallah criticised the Syrian opposition over its accusation that Assad’s forces were behind the attacks.

The explosions, the Hezbollah chief added, were proof that Syria risks descending into an abyss similar to Iraq.

"The Syrian people are at a crossroads," Nasrallah said, adding that one path leads to "reform", and the other to "destruction".

Nasrallah spoke during an event in Beirut’s southern suburbs celebrating the reconstruction of the district, much of which was destroyed by aerial bombing in the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah TV channel Al-Manar said.

At least 1,200 Lebanese died during the 2006 war, most of them civilians, while around 160 Israelis died, the majority of them soldiers.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah has weapons that can accurately hit targets throughout Israel and that if a new war broke out, the group would destroy several targets in Israel for every building destroyed in Beirut.

The Hezbollah leader said that in 2006 his movement had been able to strike Tel Aviv, but wished to protect the city.

He added that Hezbollah is "capable of striking very specific targets not only in Tel Aviv but everywhere in occupied Palestine".

Nasrallah also voiced support for electoral laws based on proportional representation for upcoming polls in Lebanon in 2013, which he said needed to be held on time.

The formation of Lebanon's government in recent years has come only after political wrangling between the mostly Sunni Future Movement led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the so-called March 8 coalition led by Hezbollah and other groups, including Christians.


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