Italy’s Salvini criticised by allies for calling Hezbollah “terrorists”

December 12, 2018

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini defended himself against attacks from his own government on Wednesday, after he was criticised for calling the militant group Hezbollah “Islamist terrorists”.

Salvini, who is head of the rightist League party, began a two-day visit to Israel on Tuesday with a tour of the country’s northern border, where the Israeli army says it has uncovered attack tunnels built by Hezbollah from Lebanon.

He later denounced the Shi’ite group as “terrorists” and doubled down on his comments on Wednesday following criticism from the 5-Star Movement, his coalition allies.

“It is strange to read in the Italian newspapers that some people are amazed that I call Islamist terrorists what they are, Islamist terrorists,” he said in a video on his Facebook page.

“Let us give the right weight to words. If we do not identify the adversary, I am not saying enemy but adversary, then the game will never be won,” he said.