Lebanese FM: Israel will lose a war against us

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, says his country is sure to win any war against Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, issued a threat to Israel, saying it would lose any war against his country.

Speaking to Russia Today during a visit to Moscow, Bassil said Lebanon has the capabilities to counter “any threat," but stressed it only wants peace and stability in the region.

He also warned that any potential aggressor state would suffer consequences, which could reach as far as Europe.

Bassil’s comments came in the wake of the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the aftermath of that move.

He said Lebanon has always chosen to "maintain constructive and sound policies" with its neighbors and other states in the Arab world, but this hasn't prevented "hostile actions" against Lebanon. The crisis triggered by the unexpected resignation of Hariri is a "good example [showing that] virtually anyone can start a war against us," claimed Bassil.

"We are ready to act in case of such developments, but we are trying to do everything we can to prevent this from happening and to maintain a good relationship with Saudi Arabia," Bassil said, before claiming that the current situation appears to involve far more players, particularly Israel and the U.S.

"We should not be provoking Israel into a war simply because it is likely to lose it. We should restrain Israel from starting a war exactly because Lebanon is sure to win it," he told RT.

"Any country can take action against Hezbollah like the U.S. does, even though the leader of Hezbollah has said repeatedly: 'If you want to fight us, you can fight us, but leave Lebanon alone. We don’t want Lebanon to suffer because of us.' We think if they target us, they will punish all the people of Lebanon, and those who dare do this will also face consequences. There will be consequences for the whole region, for Europe,” he warned.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last week claimed that Saudi Arabia is inciting Israel to strike Lebanon, warning his group is watching carefully for any Israeli attempts to use the crisis surrounding the Hariri resignation to begin hostilities against Lebanon.

Bassil’s comments are not the first time that a Lebanese official has threatened Israel. Lebanese President Michel Aoun several weeks ago said that if a war with Israel were to occur, all the citizens of his country would mobilize to battle Israel.

In February, Aoun warned that any Israeli attempt to violate Lebanon's sovereignty would be met with the "appropriate response".

Several weeks earlier, the Lebanese President called on Arab nations to come together to “protect” the multi-faith character of Jerusalem, accusing Israel of trying to “Judaize Palestine”.