Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri pleased by Israel’s deadly raids on Hezbollah

Lebanon’s parliament speaker, a seemingly unshakeable ally of the powerful Shiite Hezbollah, drew pleasure from Israel’s deadly raids on the militant group in 2006, a leaked US diplomatic cable said.

The July 2006 cable, classified confidential and released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks last week, said speaker Nabih Berri suggested the conflict was an opportunity to deal a serious blow to his sworn ally, the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah.

„Berri condemned the ferocity of Israel’s military response but admitted that a successful Israeli campaign against Hezbollah would be an excellent way to destroy Hezbollah’s military aspirations and discredit their political ambitions,“ read the cable, filed by former US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman, now an undersecretary of state.

Berri is a veteran Shiite politician who has held the post of parliament speaker uninterrupted for almost two decades.

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