Syrians burn pictures of Nasrallah

The members of Iran's radical axis in the Middle East are rallying around their ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in support of his bloody crackdown of the pro-democracy protests that have taken place in Syria over the past two months.

Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called upon the Syrian people to "defend the regime" in a televised speech last Wednesday.

Nasrallah said that President Assad was not like other Arab leaders - such as deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak - and that he truly wants reform.

Human rights groups in Syria estimate that around 900 protesters, including children, have been killed so far by Syrian security forces.

Nasrallah was supporting his patrons in the Iranian regime who have been sending hundreds of "advisers" to the Baath government in Damascus to help crush the protests. In response to Nasrallah's speech, protesters in Syria last Friday burnt his pictures.

In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that there was a "low probability" that Assad would "target Israel to reduce the pressure on him".

    Last updated: 2:17pm, June 2 2011