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Hezbollah: No Arab, Muslim  Help for US - 2001-09-29

The head of Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah says no Arabs or Muslims should help the United States in its fight against terrorism.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is not known for being a friend of the United States, and his insistence that Arabs and Muslims give no help to the U.S. in what he called "its aggression against Afghanistan" came as no surprise.

But at the same time, the sheikh cautioned the Islamic world against viewing President Bush's fight against terrorism as a "Christian war against Islam." "This would only serve the interests of Israel," said the sheikh, which he says "wants to see a conflict between Christians and Muslims."

Sheikh Nasrallah made his remarks Friday before thousands of supporters in Beirut's southern suburbs, marking the first anniversary of the Palestinian intifada.

Hezbollah's leader, whose son was killed fighting Israeli troops, is a bitter foe of the Jewish state, and has vowed repeatedly to "march on Jerusalem."

During his speech, the sheikh also insisted his group is prepared for what he described as "direct military intervention" to help the Palestinians continue their uprising. But he gave no details as to how his group intended to do that.

Hezbollah has periodically fought Israeli troops along a small border strip, called Sheba'a Farms, after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in June 2000.

Hezbollah last October captured three Israeli soldiers and an officer it claim to be a Mossad agent, but negotiations to gain their release have so far gotten nowhere.