Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech to followers on Sunday that it is time for allies of Iran to begin working on retaliation for the January 3 targeted killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani by US forces in Iraq.
Speaking in a delivered speech marking the one week memorial for the death of Soleimani and Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Nasrallah said it would be a “long path” to reach the goal of ejecting US forces from the region.
“The response to the American crime is not a single operation, but rather a long path that must lead to removing America from our region,” Nasrallah said. “That means all American bases are a target.
“The days will reveal that after the assassination of Soleimani the world will be different. It is the beginning of a new history in our region.
“What happened at Ain al-Assad base is not a response, but a mere blow [in the face of America] along this long path, and it is a first, strong, and earth-shattering step on the road of this crime committed by America,” he vowed.
“Soleimani represented the Islamic revolution in Iran, and was the best messenger and carried its flag to our peoples and resistance movements in our countries,” he said.
Nasrallah: “I want to be very clear, we don’t mean the American people. All across the region there are American citizens– traders, journalists, engineers, and doctors. They cannot be touched… any harm to U.S. civilians will only serve Trump’s agenda.” pic.twitter.com/KzoBcQzbeb
— Sam (@halaljew) January 5, 2020
“I want to be very clear, we don’t mean the American people,” Nasrallah said at one point, qualifying his statement. “All across the region there are American citizens – traders, journalist, engineers, and doctors. They cannot be touched . . . any harm to US civilians will only serve Trump’s agenda.”