‘ Trump has started a new type of war in the region’

Soleimani's assassination marks beginning of new era in Middle East: Nasrallah

January 6, 2020 - 12:4

Hezbollah secretary-general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Sunday that the assassination of IRGC-Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani marked a turning point in the history of the Middle East, and the responsibility of his death lies with US President Donald Trump.

“The assassination of Soleimani marked the beginning of a new phase in the entire region,” Nasrallah said during a Beirut memorial for Soleimani and the others who were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Friday.

He added that the assassination of the head of Iran's elite Quds force by U.S. forces had started a "new war of a new type."

At intervals, the thousands of Hezbollah supporters who had headed to Beirut's southern suburbs for the memorial service chanted "death to America" in unison.

The Hezbollah leader said that Soleimani, who visited Nasrallah in Beirut on Jan. 1, had achieved his goal by "dying as a martyr."

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a speech Friday evening that he had ordered Soleimani's killing to "stop a war," claiming that the head of Iran's elite Quds Force was "plotting imminent and sinister attacks" against U.S. citizens.

Nasrallah described the attack as an "open and brazen crime," the responsibility for which lies solely with Trump.

"All previous attempts [to kill Soleimani] failed ... that's why they did it this way," he said.

The Iraqi parliament is expected to vote on the expulsion some 5,200 U.S. troops from Iraq Sunday. Nasrallah said that even if MPs fail to approve the vote, Iraqi resistance fighters will not allow "a single U.S. soldier" to remain in the country.

Nasrallah devoted much of the first part of his speech to launch an attack on Trump, listing what he described as the president's "failures" in the region since he his election in 2016, including in wars in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

He claimed that Trump's "real plan" in Iraq was to control the country's oil, weaken the Iraqi state and ensure the contiunation of Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.

Increased sanctions on Hezbollah officials in Lebanon, he said, has also failed to impact the power of "the resistance," as the group is often known.

(Source: Daily Star)

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