Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah has pledged “victory” for Assad’s forces in Syria.
The Lebanese militia has been backing the Syrian government in the country’s two-year civil war, including bombardment the rebel-held town of Qusayr in heavy offensive.
"This battle is ours... and I promise you victory," Nasrallah said in a televised address on Saturday, BBC News reported.
"We will not rely on anyone ... like all the battles before this one: We will be its people, its men, and we will be the ones who bring it victory," he said from an undisclosed location. "We will continue to the end of the road, we accept this responsibility and will accept all sacrifices and expected consequences of this position.”
His speech was the first time the Shiite leader confirmed directly that Hezbollah’s forces were involved in Syria’s conflict, which has become dominated by sectarian Shiite-Sunni violence.
However, Nasrallah maintained that the group’s involvement was an effort to defend Lebanon from radical groups, and not based in sectarianism, according to Reuters.
The push in violence in Qusayr was expected in light of the Hezbollah leader’s speech, according to the Washington Post.
“We were expecting a more decisive attempt to advance before Nasrallah’s speech, and it has happened,” Sami al-Rifaie, an activist based in Qusayr, told the Post. “He wants to appear in front of his people victorious.”