Nasrallah Threatens Reprisals Against U.S. Soldiers

BEIRUT (Reuters/Hamodia) -
Lebanon’s Hezbollah supporters chant slogans during a funeral rally for Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, in Beirut’s suburbs, Lebanon, Sunday. (Reuters/Aziz Taher)

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday the U.S. military in the Middle East would pay the price for the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, and U.S. soldiers and officers would return home in coffins.

Nasrallah, speaking in a broadcast address marking Soleimani’s death in a targeted U.S. air strike, said responding to the killing was not only Iran’s responsibility but the responsibility of its allies in the region too.

He said attacks on the U.S. military presence in the Middle East would be “fair punishment” for the killing of Soleimani, listing U.S. bases, naval ships and military personnel.

Nasrallah said such an approach would force the United States to withdraw from the Middle East “humiliated, defeated and in terror … as they left in the past.”

“The date of Soleimani’s assassination is an inflection point in the history of the region, not just for Iran or Iraq,” he said. “Soleimani’s assassination isn’t an isolated incident. This is the start of a new U.S. war in the region.”

Nasrallah also said that U.S. civilians in the region “should not be touched” because this would serve Trump’s agenda.

A top Israeli analyst, Channel 12’s Ehud Yaari, interpreted Nasrallah’s speech as a signal that this will be Tehran’s strategy of response, given that he is the head of a major proxy for the Islamic Republic.

The memorial service for Soleimani, which took place in the southern suburbs of Beirut, was attended by several thousand people, according to media reports.