In an angry speech, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, called for the eviction of U.S. troops from the Middle East, saying the American military is a legitimate target.
Nasrallah was speaking via a video link to his supporters gathered Sunday in southern Beirut to commemorate Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed by a U.S. drone in Baghdad on January 3.
Nasrallah said Soleimani’s targeted killing brings a “new phase” for the region. Today we commemorate and honor a great Islamic leader. His killing marks the beginning of a new phase and a new date not only for Iran or Iraq, but to the whole region".
Iranian officials have called for the expulsion of the U.S. military from the region since Soleimani's death. Nasrallah repeated the call asking his supporters to rally around the goal of expelling the United States military from the region.
Soleimani played a pivotal role in nurturing the Hezbollah to become a lethal threat to Israel in the region and help Syria’s strongman Bashar Assad largely defeat his opposition in a brutal civil war since 2011.
The Hezbollah leader said Soleimani’s killing was “not an ambiguous assassination. This is a blatant and clear crime.”