Gen. Soleimani was an international icon of sacrifice: Hezbollah chief

January 5, 2021 - 10:49

TEHRAN – In a televised speech late on Sunday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah praised Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani as a hero and an international icon of sacrifice and loyalty who defended the oppressed nations.

January 3 marked the first anniversary of the assassination of General Soleimani, the legendary anti-terror commander. He was assassinated along with deputy leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis near Baghdad’s international airport.

General Soleimani was on a peace mission. He was to meet with then Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to talk about the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

The assassination was an open violation of Iraq’s national sovereignty.

General Soleimani’s acumen in the war on terrorism was praised by his friends and foes. 
The Hezbollah secretary-general also said since the Pentagon assassinated General Soleimani, there have been growing calls for the expulsion of U.S. forces from the region, and this is only one of the repercussions of the cowardly act of terror.

The assassination was ordered by Donald Trump.

"One of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and [deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi] al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of U.S. forces from the region," Press TV quoted Nasrallah as saying.

“Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set U.S. troops on the track of leaving Iraq,” the Hezbollah leader added.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was accompanying General Soleimani on the night of their martyrdom.

Nasrallah then addressed the United States, the Israeli regime, and all those conspiring against the resistance front, saying, “When you assassinate our leaders, we get more determined and strong-minded to assert our rights.”

“Those thinking of weakening us through killings, wars, and car bomb attacks are delusional. The U.S. believed it could weaken Iran and the axis of resistance by assassinating Qassem Soleimani, but we are the ones who know how to turn threats into opportunities.”

The Hezbollah leader also said the Tel Aviv regime is high on alert for possible Iranian retaliation on the anniversary of the Soleimani assassination.

“The resistance front will always be respecting and glorifying its martyrs. Iran will take military revenge by itself. It has strength and capability as well as power to defend and does not need any proxies. The friends of Iran will take their own decisions if they want to respond to this crime,” Nasrallah stressed.

Hundreds of thousands of people attended rallies across Iraq on Sunday to commemorate the first anniversary of the assassination Qassem Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
The marchers in the capital Baghdad gathered at Tahrir Square, Press TV reported.

“We are here to commemorate the martyrdom of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” one of the demonstrators at Tahrir Square told the Rudaw news agency. “Let us not forget, they sacrificed a lot for Iraq and they defeated America in Iraq.”

The PUM issued a statement saying the massive rallies in Iraq in memory of the two anti-terror commanders were a slap in the face of the United States.
Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami said on Sunday that the U.S. made a “strategic mistake” by assassinating the top Iranian commander, saying such a miscalculation has increased the cost for American military presence in West Asia.

In a message released on the first anniversary of martyrdom of General Soleimani, the defense minister said the assassination was a strategic mistake and miscalculation because the loss of the commander has not affected the resistance movement.

Nazim Dabbagh, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in Tehran, says General Soleimani’s leadership against terrorism was “vital” and effective”. 

Dabbagh says the general helped the Iraqi Kurdistan by sending weapons and military advisers to defeat Daesh.

“Martyr Qassem Soleimani not only helped in the framework of consultation but also in the battlefield,” Nazim Dabbagh tells the Tehran Times. “We are thankful and appreciative for Iran’s advisory presence and its arms aid to eliminate the Daesh threat from Erbil.”

The Hezbollah leader also censured Washington and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for the creation of the Daesh terrorist group, saying their main reason for creating this vicious group was to fight the resistance front.

He also criticized some Lebanese media outlets for distorting latest remarks by Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), saying, “Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are naturally at the frontlines of the Muslim world due to their geographical proximity to the Zionist entity.”

In an interview with Al-Manar TV aired on Saturday, Hajizadeh 
reaffirmed Iran’s support for whoever resists the Zionist regime, saying Gaza and Lebanon are at the forefront of the battle and their missile capabilities have been supported by the Islamic Republic.

“Instead of giving a fish or teaching to catch a fish, we taught our allies and friends how to make a hook,” the commander said, adding that they are now in possession of advanced missile technologies.

 ‘Iran’s support for resistance front is unconditional’ 

The Hezbollah secretary general said Iran’s support for the resistance movement and Palestinian groups has been unconditional, and the Islamic Republic has never stopped backing Lebanon, even during Saddam Hussein’s war against the country in 1980s.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America's best-known critics of the war on terror, says General Soleimani's talent for “inspiring resistance” in Lebanon and Syria was “evident”. 

“The General's advice and support was an essential ingredient in the emergence of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Ansarullah movement in Yemen,” Barrett tells the Tehran Times. 

He says both Hezbollah and Ansarullah “seemingly came out of nowhere to strike devastating blows against the twin scourges of Zionism and imperialism, somehow winning battles against vastly bigger, better-armed, better-funded opponents.”

Barrett, who taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris and Wisconsin, adds, “Lebanon's defeat of Israel in the 33 Day War of 2006, and Ansarullah's defeat of the Anglo-Zionist Empire's proxies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, were among the most unlikely David-vs.-Goliath triumphs in military history.”

He notes, “Such grossly improbable victories might have been downright impossible without the daring, charismatic genius of General Qassem Soleimani.”


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