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      Hizbullah's Number 2: Assad Regime Will Survive

      The Hizbullah terror group’s number two, Sheikh Naim Qassem, says he is confident that the Assad regime in Syria would survive.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 3/11/2013, 5:46 AM

      President Bashar al-Assad
      President Bashar al-Assad
      AFP photo

      The Hizbullah terror group’s number two, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said on Sunday that he was confident that the Assad regime in Syria would survive.

      Speaking in an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa, Qassem said that “the Syrian regime still has control over Damascus and its suburbs, and over several other districts. The government enjoys support and popularity among the people.”

      He added, “Since the start of the riots in Syria, there have been those who have predicted that the regime would fall soon. They failed again and again.”

      Even if the Syrian regime indeed falls, claimed Qassem, “it would not affect Hizbullah in any way.”

      Qassem also said that Hizbullah has an obligation to arm and train the residents of Syrian towns which border Lebanon.

      Several weeks ago, a newspaper in Lebanon, affiliated with the anti-Hizbullah movement, claimed that Qassem had been injured and may have been killed in an attack on a convoy by Syrian opposition forces.

      The report in the Lebanon-based al-Mustaqbal newspaper claimed that Qassem was wounded in a blast along with several high-ranking Syrian officers, according to the.

      The terror group’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, later denied that Qassem had been wounded in a Syrian rebel attack.

      Nasrallah made the comments during a television appearance in which he said that there is no truth in the recent reports about his ill health.

      Turkish and Arab media had reported that Nasrallah had been taken to Iran for treatment after he was diagnosed with cancer.

      Hizbullah denied that Nasrallah had cancer.