“You will not be able to take Damascus by force, and you will not be able to topple the regime militarily,” he said, to Syria’s opposition fighters, Newsmax reported. “This is a long battle. Syria has real friends in the region and in the world who will not allow Syria to fall into the hands of America or Israel.”
Iran is Mr. Assad’s close ally, too, and rebel fighters have already accused that nation of sending in forces.
If Hezbollah does formally enter the fray, Lebanon’s stability could be compromised, military experts say. Lebanon, the home ground for the Shiite group, is already split in opinion over what to do about Syria, Newsmax reported.