BEIRUT: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah Monday declared the organization’s victory in the war against ISIS on the border with Syria and said: “ISIS was supposed to destroy our region, our army and our institutions, and give it to the United States and Israel.
Therefore, those who are crying over ISIS’ defeat in Lebanon and Iraq are Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials.”
“The ones who are crying today about the surrender of ISIS in Syria and Iraq are Netanyahu and the senior Israeli officials,” Nasrallah said, according to a report on Channel 10 News.
His comments came in a speech in which he declared Hezbollah victory in the war against ISIS on the Leabanese border with Syria.
As part of the deal, Lebanon agreed to transfer hundreds of ISIS militants from the Lebanon-Syria border to their last stronghold of Deir Ezzor, in eastern Syria, in exchange for the bodies of eight out of nine Lebanese soldiers kidnapped in 2014 and ultimately slain by ISIS. The ceasefire halted separate, dual assaults against ISIS waged by the Lebanese army on its side of the border and Hezbollah from the Syrian side.
“We came and took responsibility by going to negotiations. At the negotiations, ISIS called for a ceasefire from the first moment. We, neither the Lebanese army, nor the Syrian army, agreed to a ceasefire. The fighting continued on both fronts, the land was crushed, the hills and highlands were seized and ISIS found itself on its last square and it collapsed and surrendered after a decisive battle,” Nasrallah said.
“It had no choice but to accept our conditions,” he added, emphasizing Hezbollah’s role in revealing the fate of the slaughtered Lebanese soldiers and securing their bodies.
Hezbollah believes that the war in Syria is an Israeli and American conspiracy to unseat what it terms as an ‘Axis of Resistance’ against Zionist Israel.
The group, which has been classified as a terrorist by the US since it was founded following Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s, has grown in prominence following its victory in 2006 war with Israel. It has now dramatically influenced the direction of the conflict in Syria.
In his speech announcing victory over ISIS, Nasrallah mocked Netanyahu saying: ISIS [Daesh] was supposed to destroy our region, our army and our institutions, and give them to the United States and Israel.
But the plans of Israel which he described as the enterprise of occupation and hegemony had failed and the ones who are crying today about the surrender of ISIS in Syria and Iraq are Netanyahu and the senior Israeli officials.
“We have removed all the terrorists who were on the border and posed a threat to the whole of the Lebanon Valley,” he added.
“Israel is an enterprise of occupation and hegemony, the United States is a hegemony enterprise, and ISIS and the terrorist organizations are the extermination enterprise of every Muslim, Christian, Ezidi and everywhere, continued the Hezbollah leader.
The announcement came days after Hezbollah announced it had used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during an operation against ISIS and published a video showing the drone strikes. This is not the first time Hezbollah drones have been seen in Syria.
Lebanon has suffered from spillover of the Syrian war. One of the worst spillovers of the foreign backed war into Lebanon was in 2014, when ISIS and Nusra Front briefly overran the border town of Arsal.
In addition, Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon have been targeted by the terror groups with suicide attacks.
Nasrallah has several times in the past claimed that the U.S. and Israel were responsible for the creation of ISIS.
In recognition of Lebanon’s expulsion of the terrorists, Nasrallah said Monday’s date would forever be remembered as a sequel to Israel’s forced retreat from the country on May 25, 2000, a date known as “Liberation Day” in Lebanon.
“Today, August 28, 2017, is the Second Liberation Day of Lebanon that will be recorded someday in the history of Lebanon and of the region, whether the Lebanese government recognizes it or not,” Nasrallah said, calling for celebrations to be held Thursday in the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.