Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced on Monday that Hezbollah has vowed to redirect its jihadi efforts from Iraq to Lebanon, describing its offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS) as “mission accomplished.”
Nasrallah’s comments come as Lebanon, Hezbollah’s most prominent stronghold, and Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia find themselves teetering on the brink of war over the resignation of the Lebanese Sunni Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
Hariri’s decision has thrust Lebanon’s coalition government into disarray.
Nevertheless, Sky News reports:
Regional tensions have escalated in recent weeks, but Mr. Nasrallah denied sending any weapons to other Middle East flash points, and any involvement in the firing of a missile from Yemen into Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
But regarding Lebanon—still reeling from the resignation of its Prime Minister—Mr. Nasrallah said he remained committed to protecting the country’s people from “Israeli threats.”
During a televised address on Monday, the Hezbollah chief said his fighters are close to completely eradicating ISIS’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, where the Shiite group maintains tens of thousands of advisers and commanders assisting other Iran-linked soldiers.
“If there is no need for them in Iraq anymore, we will withdraw them and send them to areas where they are needed,” declared Nasrallah.
He boasted that the Shiite terrorist group had managed to defeat ISIS in a matter of months, describing Hezbollah’s successes as “mission accomplished.”
Echoing Nasrallah, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani recently proclaimed the end of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, thanking Hezbollah for its “decisive” role in fighting the Sunni terrorist group.
The Associated Press (AP) learned from the Iraqi government and an Iranian-backed Shiite militia organization that Iraq is home to “between 60,000 and 140,000” Tehran-allied fighters who have been legalized by Baghdad as an official component of the Iraqi military.
Advisers from Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah have also been assisting the Shiite militias in their war against ISIS battle, reports Sky News.
ISIS and other jihadists have killed nearly 5,000 Iranian-affiliated militiamen and wounded another 16,000 in Iraq and Syria.
Nasrallah has accused Riyadh of coercing former Lebanese PM Hariri to resign, an allegation that Saudi Arabia denies.
The dispute has led to both countries accusing one another of declaring war.
Lebanon’s most significant religious groups—Shiites, Sunnis, and Christians—share power.
The constitution requires the speaker of parliament to be a Shiite, the prime minister a Sunni, and the president a Christian.
Hariri stepping down has collapsed the coalition government, leaving the dominant political force in Lebanon, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah unchecked.
Hezbollah is arguably the strongest and most influential political party in Lebanon. Its jihadi tentacles reach well-beyond the Middle East into the Western Hemisphere where it generates hundreds of millions to fund its reign of terror from drug trafficking, money laundering, and other illicit activities.
In late 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq had provided weapons and training to hundreds of Shiite militiamen, including some with American blood on their hands like Hezbollah.