Hussein Al-Khalil, the political advisor to Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, said in a July 31, 2020 interview on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) that Syria stood closely by Hizbullah during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. He said that Syria facilitated the passage of weapons and supplies to Hizbullah from Iran and that the Syrian military even provided Hizbullah with weapons from its own arsenals. He elaborated that these supplies included Kornet anti-tank missiles. He also said that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad had prepared the Syrian military to join the fighting in Lebanon if Hizbullah leader Nasrallah so requested. In addition, Al-Khalil said that IRGC Qods Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani had been on the ground in Lebanon during the 2006 war and that he had played a pivotal role. Furthermore, Al-Khalil said that when the war ended, Syrian officials had given him a cake to deliver to Nasrallah. He explained that this cake had been sent as a token of appreciation by the Russian designer of the Kornet missiles, who he said had been very pleased with the way the missiles performed in battle.
Hussein Al-Khalil: "The Syrians did not abandon us for a single moment throughout the 2006 war."
Host: "In what way?"
Al-Khalil: "All our supplies, whether coming from Iran or from the arsenals of the Syrian army itself... I remember well how the Syrians opened the arsenals of the Syrian army, and started sending [us] supplies."
Host: "They opened their arsenals?"
Al-Khalil: "Yes, they opened the arsenals of the Republican Guard. All the high quality weapons they had, which we needed... They did not keep anything from us. They provided us these weapons and secured means for their transportation. They provided us all that we needed throughout the 33 days [of the war]. Even the Kornet [anti-tank missiles] came to us through Syria. If my memory serves me well, these missiles had been purchased by the Syrian army. They bought the missiles for themselves and then sent them over to us. The Kornet missiles did not stop coming throughout the 33 days of the war, especially in the last days of the war, during the ground battle with the Israeli army."
Host: "The famous massacre of tanks..."
Al-Khalil: "The famous tank battle. To this day, the Israelis talk about the tank massacre. It went down in history. At this point, I would like to commemorate those who were martyred. Hajj Qasem Soleimani played a pivotal role back then. He was following the war not from abroad, bur on the ground, in Lebanon.
"I remember that I received a message that I passed on to sayyed Nasrallah. It was sent by President Bashar Al-Assad, via [Deputy Defense Minister] Assef Shawkat, who was also killed later on. The message said: 'The Syrian leadership is absolutely prepared, if you see fit, to operate in the eastern region of Lebanon. Our forces are moving towards the front line, and they will wait. If you see fit, we have no objection even to enter the Western Beqaa Valley, and to join the fray...'"
Host: "President Al-Assad offered you this? What was your response?"
Al-Khalil: "Sayyed Nasrallah said: 'No. Send my regards to them. Tell them that we have not reached that point. You have not neglected us. As soon as we need this, we will not feel embarrassed to ask for your [help], but right now, we don't need this. Thank you very much.'"
Host: "The Kornet missiles did the job. After the war, the Russians..."
Al-Khalil: "They definitely did the job..."
Host: "What did the Russians send you?"
Al-Khalil: "Poems have been written about the Kornet missiles. I remember that a few days after the war was over, I was in Syria and met several Syrian officials. One of them said to me: 'Before you go back, I have something for sayyed Nasrallah.' I said: 'What could it possibly be?' I saw him preparing this cardboard box with a cake inside, in a round baking pan. I asked him: 'What's this?' He said: 'The Russians sent this to us, so we would pass it on to sayyed Nasrallah, because the cake was made and sent by the designer of the Kornet missile. He was very, very, very happy with the operational test. It was the first time the missile was tested in a successful battle."
Host: "It was the first time in a live battle..."
Al-Khalil: "And it was live on air... So they sent this token of friendship to sayyed Nasrallah, in the form of this Russian cake. I said: 'No problem. I'll pass it on to him.'"