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Gen. Soleimani’s assassination revealed US’ true weakness in face of regional realities: Senior Hezbollah official

A senior official with the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says last year’s assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq exposed Washington’s profound weakness in the face of regional realities.

“The US decision to assassinate the commander of the Quds Force [of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)] reveals how weak the US is in the face of realities in the region, especially after successive defeats of Americans in the region,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said in an interview with the Arabic service of Lebanese Unews news agency published on Wednesday.

He added, “Washington sought to score a victory by assassinating Gen. Soleimani as he was the main reason behind the great strength of the resistance front across the region from Palestine to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.”

Hezbollah’s deputy chief further highlighted that his movement will definitely respond to the targeted killing of the top Iranian anti-terror commander.

“Martyr Qassem Soleimani’s daughter [Zeinab] has spoken publicly about her assurance that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah will avenge his assassination. It is natural for Hezbollah to do something about this issue, but the details cannot be talked about now,” Sheikh Qassem pointed out.

The senior Hezbollah official pointed out that the course of confronting the United States is long and complicated, adding, “God willing, we will carry out our duties in an appropriate manner.”

Earlier this week, Nasrallah renewed his homage to General Soleimani, saying he was always present on the battleground and commanding fellow fighters as opposed to military leaders worldwide who are absent from conflict zones.

Speaking in an interview, conducted by Truth Documentary Film Center, and broadcast by Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, the secretary general of Hezbollah described him as a humble commander, who always visited his friends and aides on the battleground, inquired about what his fighters needed and was present on the frontline.

“Such a personality gave him a special privilege in terms of management and command,” Nasrallah said.

General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, were assassinated along with their companions in a US terror drone strike authorized by Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill two days later, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.

Both commanders were admired by Muslim nations for eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

The US assassination drew a wave of condemnation from officials and movements throughout the world, and triggered huge public protests across the region.

Early on January 8, the IRGC targeted the US-run Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar after launching a wave of attacks to retaliate the assassination of General Soleimani.

According to the US Defense Department, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans who perished during the retaliation.

Iran has described the missile attack on Ain al-Assad air base as a “first slap.”

The head of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights announced on December 28 that the country has identified 48 culprits in connection with General Soleimani’s assassination.

“Some 48 culprits have been identified [in relation to Lt. Gen. Soleimani’s assassination] and all necessary measures have been taken to prosecute them,” Ali Baqeri-Kani said.

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