How far will he go? Hezbollah leader set to break silence on Israel-Hamas war

ITV News' Emma Murphy reports from Beirut where all eyes will be on Nasrallah's speech on Friday

As leaders’ speeches go, they don’t come much bigger than the one that will delivered today.

At 3pm in Lebanon (1pm in the UK) Hassan Nasrallah, cleric and leader of the Iran-backed, Lebanese-based militant group Hezbollah, will break his silence on the war between Israel and Hamas.

His words have the power to escalate this conflict to something even more dangerous for this region and the world.

Hezbollah is committed to the destruction of Israel.

Hezbollah supporters burn an Israeli flag during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Credit: AP

His speech will be on behalf of the Iranian-backed groups across four countries, the so-called "Axis of Resistance": Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. All could deliver new fronts in this battle jointly or singularly.

There have been no leaks as to the content but his calculations are clear.

How far will he go to support his ally Hamas? What best serves Hezbollah and Iran in the region?

Is he willing to take this war to a whole new level and risk direct conflict with the US which in effect what any escalation would mean?

Since October 7, there has been constant shelling between Hezbollah fighters on the Lebanese border and Israeli troops on the other side.

Hezbollah has a fearsome arsenal provided by Iran, their firepower much greater than that of Hamas. Credit: AP

Those attacks have been escalating in ferocity and range but a declared new front would be very different.

Hezbollah has a fearsome arsenal provided by Iran, their firepower much greater than that of Hamas and with the ability to inflict great harm to Israel.

In previous speeches, Nasrallah has claimed the whole of Israel is within its rocket range.

In response, Israel has vowed to leave Lebanon in ruins should Hezbollah attack.

Those threats have not been followed through but the tensions have never been as high as they are now.

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