U.S. President Donald Trump compared Hizbullah in a landmark speech on Sunday to extremist organizations such as Islamic State and al-Qaida, as he lauded the Lebanese army for fighting IS and Lebanon for hosting a huge number of Syrian refugees.
“We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure,” said Trump in a speech focused on terrorism during the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh.
“The true toll of ISIS, al-Qaida, Hizbullah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” Trump added.
Applauding the Gulf Cooperation Council for “blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hizbullah as a terrorist organization last year,” the U.S. leader praised Saudi Arabia for joining Washington this week in “placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hizbullah,” Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, who is the head of the party's powerful executive council.
“Of course, there is still much work to do,” Trump added.
He lamented that “from Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.”
“For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” Trump charged.
He also applauded Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey for “their role in hosting refugees.”
Trump also acknowledged the Lebanese army's role in fighting IS militants on the eastern border, saying “many are already making significant contributions to regional security” and that “the Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory.”
A defiant Safieddine had stressed earlier on Sunday that the U.S. administration will not be able to “harm the resistance,” three days after he was blacklisted by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in an unprecedented "joint terrorist designation."
“America's malice and siege against our region, countries, homelands and societies prove that it has become a lot weaker than it was in the previous years and decades, and that can be evidenced by the skepticism on Trump's continued leadership of the United States of America and the daily attacks on him from most U.S. media outlets and the world's media empires,” Safieddine said.
“When the U.S. administration was in a good situation, it did not manage to harm the resistance, and therefore this mentally impeded and mad U.S. administration led by Trump will not be able to harm the resistance and they will not get anything,” the Hizbullah official added.
“What they will get is further screaming in the media and everything they have done will come to an end,” Safieddine emphasized.
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