Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Syria’s Kurds – currently allied with the United States – to negotiate with the Syrian government in order to safeguard their future.
“Do not bet on the Americans,” he warned in a televised speech on Wednesday night. “It is in your interest to negotiate with the Syrian state and come to an understanding.”
“The Americans will sell you out in any souq [marketplace], at any time,” he said.
Syrian Kurdish militant groups gained key American air support starting in 2014 in their fight against the radical Islamic State. As the fight against IS winds down, there is growing concern that the US support will also dissipate.
Iran-backed Hezbollah, Nasrallah said, “will remain in Syria as long as the Syrian leadership views our presence as necessary.”
He expressed cautious support for the demilitarized zone agreed on Monday by Syria’s ally Russia, and Turkey, in the northwestern province of Idlib, but hinted that it was not a done deal.
“It’s for the Syrian leadership to decide what is good or bad [in regards to the Idlib deal].”
He went on to say that whether the Syrians accepted it or not, Hezbollah would follow suit.
Nasrallah also addressed the intensification of Israeli air strikes in Syria.
They are “not related to the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah,” he insisted, adding that “Israel is working to prevent Syria from possessing missile capabilities that achieve a deterrent balance.”