An image taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on Sept 19 shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location. Photo: AFP
Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, is under pressure from the country's economic woes. File Photo: AFP

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.”

Members of the Asayish, Kurdish internal security police forces, arrive at the site of clashes with regime forces in Qamishli, northeastern Syria, on September 8, 2018.Syrian Kurdish forces said they clashed with regime fighters in the divided northeastern city of Qamishli on September 8, leading to the deaths of several combatants. The rare flare-up in the Kurdish-majority city near the Turkish border saw regime fighters and Kurds killed, the Kurdish security forces said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, reported the same death toll. / AFP PHOTO / Delil SOULEIMAN
Kurdish internal security police arrive in Qamishli in northeast Syria, which was the scene of clashes with regime forces on Sept 8. Several fighters were killed when the two groups clashed. Photo: AFP / Delil Souleiman