Hezbollah: Israeli onslaught a surprise

(AP) - A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expect Israel to react with an all-out offensive after the capture of two soldiers, the first acknowledgment by the group that it had miscalculated the consequences of the raid two weeks ago.

Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of the Hezbollah's political arm, also told The Associated Press in an interview that the Shiite militant group will not lay down arms, reports Trend.

In separate remarks early Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah defiantly vowed his fighters would begin firing rockets deeper into Israel, beyond the northern port of Haifa.

"The truth is let me say this clearly we didn't even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.

He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel after the two soldiers were seized by guerrillas on Israel's side of the border on July 12.

In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon, seizing Hezbollah officials and briefly targeting specific strongholds in southern Lebanon.

Komati said his group had anticipated negotiations to swap the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese held in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges.

In a speech broadcast on Hezbollah's al-Manar television, Nasrallah urged his people to be patient, apparently counting on growing international anger at the Israeli offensive in which hundreds of Lebanese have died.

"Our steadfastness will change the regional and international reality around us. The enemy won't have a lot of time, no matter what cover the American administration is providing it," Nasrallah said.

He said the group would enter a new stage in the fighting, vowing "our attacks will not remain limited to Haifa." In the last two weeks, Hezbollah has rained hundreds of rockets on northern Israel, reaching targets farther south than in any previous attacks. The group has repeatedly hit the city of Haifa, the third largest in Israel.

Komati said Hezbollah captured the Israeli soldiers from a military area, but charged that Israelis had taken Hezbollah leaders from their homes at night.

"The response is unjustified," Komati said. He claimed the Israeli offensive was planned in advance, and Israel was only "waiting for the right time" to carry it out, a claim repeated by Nasrallah.

Asked about reports that Hezbollah has been firing Iranian-made missiles on Israel, Komati said: "We don't deny nor confirm. We believe where the weapons come from is irrelevant."

Hezbollah leaders previously have denied that Iran was supplying them with weapons.

Komati said Hezbollah has weapons made in various countries, including the United States, France, China and Russia.

"Some of our fighters carry M16s. So you think we buy them from America?" he asked.

Hezbollah is demanding an immediate end to Israeli attacks before agreeing to negotiate, Komati said, rejecting a plan proposed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Beirut on Monday.

The plan calls for the deployment of international and Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah attacks on Israel before a cease-fire.

"No one can talk about politics while the fire rages, and killings occur," Komati said.

He was adamant about Hezbollah's refusal to disarm because of what he said was Israeli occupation of Lebanese land, the "threat of Israeli aggression" and the Lebanese held in Israeli jails.

Russia increases exports of frozen vegetables to Turkmenistan
Russia increases exports of frozen vegetables to Turkmenistan
Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Turkey discuss topical co-op issues in call
Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Turkey discuss topical co-op issues in call
Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister takes part in meeting of foreign ministers of landlocked countries
Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister takes part in meeting of foreign ministers of landlocked countries
Loading Bars
Latest
President Ilham Aliyev: Region has not become a safer place, unfortunately, situation is deteriorating
US embassy in Azerbaijan urges to reconsider non-essential travel outside Absheron Peninsula
Global COVID-19 death toll could hit two million before vaccine in wide use: WHO
'Intellectual Field' to allow stabilize production level in Kazakhstan
Iran's auto giants to talk over hybrid vehicles production
Azerbaijani ministry discloses volume of toxic emissions from cars
Georgian expert: Armenian authorities controlling separatist regime in Karabakh crossed red line
Azerbaijani minister of economy reviews activity of industrial enterprises in Ganja (PHOTO)
Volume of maritime cargo transshipment from Portugal via Turkey disclosed
Tactical-special and combat training classes underway in Azerbaijan (PHOTO/VİDEO)
EBRD and FAO to assist Georgia in field of agro tourism
STAR Refinery has dynamic decision-making process on oil purchases
Uzbekistan to be supplied with Russian coronavirus vaccines
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to maintain Uzbek energy and water resources balance
Azerbaijan’s Bakcell preparing discounts for teachers within project
UK study shows rapid test has diagnostic sensitivity over 99%
Kazakhstan's grain export volume revealed
Amazon hiring 150 employees in Israel
Baku Higher Oil School on top of grade ranking among universities in Azerbaijan
Mortgage lending via state line in Azerbaijan up
Russia leading exporter of polymer products to Turkmenistan
Volume of deposits up in Georgia
September occupancies up in Georgian regional hotels
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan strengthening co-op in medical tourism
Rates of dollarization on loans and deposits up in Georgia
Volume of deposits in Azerbaijan grows
Russia increases exports of frozen vegetables to Turkmenistan
Bakcell talks about network congestion and secure internet
Azerbaijani banks increase lending to clients
Iranian government is modernizing agriculture in Tehran Province
Italy lowers import of Turkish cars
Loans and deposits, expressed as percentage of GDP, increase in Georgia
Netherlands increase export volume to Kazakhstan year-on-year
Georgian hazelnuts exports up
Azerbaijan's Anglo Asian Mining reveals 1H2020 income
Several industrial projects to be implemented in Kazakhstan's Almaty
Azerbaijan's Azexport portal to place insurance services
Sooner Armenia withdraws its armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, sooner the conflict will be resolved (PHOTO)
Moscow reports 1,560 new coronavirus cases, highest since June 12
Azerbaijani schoolchildren perform successfully at 32nd International Olympiad in Informatics (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan confirms 137 more COVID-19 recoveries
ADB: Developed capital markets enhance financial stability in Azerbaijan
Covid-19 daily infections swell 12% to new record
Energy efficiency to be increased at Uzbek manufacturing enterprises
Shell books tanker to load crude at Libya's Zueitina oil port
Turkmenistan’s Oil Refineries extends tender for gasoline purchase
Kazakhstan's QazTech Ventures to fund Uzbek startups
Gas exports from Azerbaijan to Turkey significantly up
VTB Bank, Entrepreneurship Development Fund of Azerbaijan issuing loans to businesses
Azerbaijani FM receives ambassador of Greece
Vietnam interested in import of Azerbaijani products
EU working with Georgian partners to strengthen cybersecurity in country
Azerbaijani ministry talks introduction of contactless payment in public transport in districts
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to hold deposit auction
Azerbaijan discloses data on tobacco exports for 2019
BP: Oil demand to remain central part of energy system for next 10–15 years
Azerbaijani MP: Armenia resettling terrorists to Nagorno-Karabakh region, facts prove ASALA's presence
Apple says has always abided by Irish law as EU appeals court ruling
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan up again after decline
Iran assigns housing units to low income
Money supply increased in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan to export fuel diesel to Pakistan
Georgia reveals volume of premiums attracted by insurance companies
UN highlights Azerbaijani president’s speech at 75th session of UN General Assembly
Kazakhstan's largest oil pipeline company to buy power stations via tender
LNG demand to double over next 20 years
Volume of gas production by Turkmenistan’s Lebapgazchykarysh revealed
Expert talks putting Azerbaijan's domestic tourism back on its feet
Deputy FM: Rejecting proposals to resolve conflict, Armenian leadership makes negotiations meaningless
Road in border village of Azerbaijan’s Gazakh district being overhauled (PHOTO)
Israeli politician: We find Azerbaijan a good friend of Israel
Around 6,000 people internationally wanted by Russia
Buffett-following investment trust to list in London
EU Special Representative: EU has strong interest in peace, stability in South Caucasus
Georgia reports 265 new cases of coronavirus
Instagram fixes breach found by Check Point
US’ share in Azerbaijan's total imports grows
FAO provides strategic support for Uzbek Agriculture Ministry
Conference of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan was held at the high organizational level
Italian geopolitical analyst: Mechanism needed for implementation of UNSC resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Turkmenistan to expand areas for growing crops
Azerbaijani oil prices down
Georgia, Azerbaijan united by energy and transport projects of international importance
President Ilham Aliyev receives EU Special Representative (PHOTO)
Chairman Israel Empowerment Lobby: Azerbaijan tolerates all religions
Electronic Water Portal launched in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Agro Service: Azerbaijan has no shortage in fertilizers
Сoordinated fake news attacks on Azerbaijan debunked (PHOTO)
Georgia takes part in high-level Open Government Summit together with world leaders
Belarus raises goods export to Azerbaijan
Georgia hosts Cyber ​​Security Forum
Demand for Turkish clothing in Georgian market declines
Turkmenistan working to improve transport macrostructure
Azerbaijani Ambassador presents his credentials to President of Mexico
Georgia to start producing anti-hail nets for orchards
German export expectations hit highest level since October 2018
President Ilham Aliyev: Non-fulfillment of Security Council resolutions undermines prestige of UN
Irish foreign minster says EU-UK trade deal breakthrough possible
Overhaul of Azerbaijani 'President Heydar Aliyev' tanker completed
Azerbaijani president: Aim pursued by Armenia to maintain current status-quo of occupation, to annex occupied territories
All news