Nasrallah: Fair Response to Soleimani Killing is Ouster of U.S. Forces from Region
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday said that the response to the assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani should be nothing short of the ouster of all U.S. forces from the region.
“We are not scared or angry and we see a chance to get rid of hegemony and occupation,” Nasrallah said in a televised address during a rally that Hizbullah held in Beirut’s southern suburbs to commemorate Soleimani, Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and their companions, who were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Thursday night.
“A fair punishment for the sake of Qassem Soleimani is a fair punishment for the sake of Imad Mughniyeh, Abbas al-Moussawi, Mustafa Badreddine and all the martyrs of this nation,” Nasrallah said, mentioning the names of slain Hizbullah leaders.
“The ignorant Trump and the fools around him do not realize what they have done. Days will tell them,” Nasrallah added.
“When the coffins of U.S. soldiers and officers start returning to the United States, the Trump administration will realize that it has lost the region and the elections,” he said.
“The fair punishment is the removal of U.S. military presence from the region,” Nasrallah noted.
He said the U.S. army “killed these people and it will pay the price.”
“We do not at all mean the American people and citizens across our region,” Nasrallah noted.
He warned that any harm against U.S. civilians anywhere “would serve Trump's policies.”
“It is up to anyone from the axis of resistance to deliver a fair punishment after Soleimani’s assassination and Iran will not request anything from its allies and friends,” he pointed out.
Noting that if the U.S. forces “get expelled from the region, the liberation of Jerusalem will become attainable,” Hizbullah’s leader added that Israel’s enemies might not need to start a battle to achieve that.
“The Israelis will pack their clothes and leave,” he suggested.
He added: “There is a responsibility on the shoulders of the axis of resistance to retaliate… Qassem Soleimani is not a purely Iranian affair, Qassem Soleimani concerns Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan and every country.”
Addressing Iraqis, Nasrallah said U.S. forces must be expelled and “Iraq must be liberated.”
“The honorable Iraqi resistance fighters will not allow a single American soldier to remain in Iraq” should parliamentary action fail to oblige the U.S.-led forces to leave, Nasrallah suggested.
“We hope the Iraqi parliament will approve a law calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq,” Nasrallah said.
Iraq’s parliament approved the bill later in the day.
Separately, Nasrallah revealed that he had met with Soleimani in Lebanon a week prior to the deadly U.S. strike that killed the Iranian commander.
“I warned him that there was talk about him in the U.S. media and told him that that was a precursor to his assassination. He laughed and shrugged off the possibility,” Nasrallah said.
“This was not a separate assassination operation. This is the start of a new U.S. war in the region,” Nasrallah noted.
He also said that “a new era and a new history” started in the region after Soleimani’s assassination.
Separately, he revealed that U.S. envoy David Satterfield had “threatened Lebanese officials” during a recent visit to Lebanon, asking them to “remove resistance installations from the Bekaa and giving them a 15-day deadline.”
“He threatened that Israel would launch strikes” but warnings launched by Hizbullah foiled the scheme, Nasrallah said.
“America failed in Lebanon. All the sanctions, incitement and funds did not achieve anything,” he added.
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