The commander of the mainly-Christian militias in Southern Lebanon, Major Saad Haddad, said on Wednesday (19 December) he had evidence that three hundred Iranian volunteers had already reached the area.
SV Militiamen in tanks testing tank in repair depot at Klea, Southern Lebanon, and driving out into streets (3 shots)
CU Interior Azarim Hotel, Metullah, Israel: Militia leader Major Saad Haddad speaking in English and pointing to map (2 shots)
HADDAD: "Everybody knows that fifty, er, the first group of the Iranian .. the recruited Iranians, came to Syria to Damascus. So, yesterday we have been assured, from sure sources of information that they came to Nabatiyah. They come by Syrian truck before they came .. they followed the road to Masnak (phonetic). It is north east. And from there, they came to Beirut, and from Beirut came to the shore road, and reached Abulaswath (phonetic). Abulaswath here in this area .. bridge Abulaswath. From there, they came to (indistinct). We know their intention, their intention .. they are coming not like tourists, they are coming like terrorists. So they are coming to begin military action against us, and against Israel. And, for that we yesterday, we made urgent meeting of our war function, and we took decision to be in readiness, full readiness in all the area. And you know very well also that the Shi'ite soldiers in the area, they made, they were preparing themselves, making exercises. And also they are in readiness to .. er, readiness to face them because they know their coming is not for their benefit. It is for, it is to destroy their country, and to force them to emigrate .. and to give the land to the PLO. And it will be cat???strophic for them."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The commander of the mainly-Christian militias in Southern Lebanon, Major Saad Haddad, said on Wednesday (19 December) he had evidence that three hundred Iranian volunteers had already reached the area. They would, he said, join Palestinian guerrillas fighting against Israel. Without disclosing his evidence, Major Haddad said the Iranians has been deployed in camps near the Lebanese town of Nabatiyah. Major Haddad controls a stretch of territory along the Israeli-Lebanese borer. At the time he made these statements, the state-controlled media in Syria had made no mention of the arrival of any Iranian volunteers. Reuters said the same day that Israeli-backed militias in southern Lebanon the previous night fired on Palestinian positions near Nabatiyah after their radio station announced that Iranian volunteers had been smuggled into the area.
SYNOPSIS: This is the Christian militias' tank repair depot at Klea, southern Lebanon. The militias have been conducting field exercises in the region. The Beirut independent newspaper An-Nahar on Wednesday (19 December) quoted the Iranian force organiser, Hojanoleslam Mohammad Montazeri as saying in an interview in Teheran that the volunteers would be fighting what he called the source of trouble for Iran. He identified this as Zionism and American imperialism. Major Haddad spoke from Metullah, Israel.