15 Nov 2013

Hezbollah head makes Syria promise

3:53 pm on 15 November 2013

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader has vowed that his fighters will remain in Syria for as long as needed.

Hassan Nasrallah made the comment at a huge rally to commemorate Ashura, a day of mourning for the death of Imam Hussein in 680 AD.

Very strict security measures were in place in Beirut's mainly Shi'ite southern suburbs as tens of thousands of people turned out for the rally.

With tensions over Syria extremely high, the suburbs have been targetted recently by car bombs and rocket attacks.

Hassan Nasrallah is also well aware that his predecessor was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 1992.

In recent years, the Hezbollah leader has normally addressed such rallies by video link, but instead made a personal appearance, to the delight of the crowd.

Government forces have won several significant battles since Hezbollah fighters openly entered the Syrian conflict on President Bashar al-Assad's side.