The head of Tehran’s narco-terrorist proxy Hezbollah on Sunday reportedly vowed to take revenge for the U.S. killing of Iranian terrorist Gen. Qasem Soleimani, stating, “the shoe of Soleimani is worth the head of Trump and all American leaders.”
Between Thursday night and early Friday, depending on the time zone, a U.S. drone strike killed Soleimani and other leaders of Iranian proxies, including at least one PMF leader.
As the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), Soleimani was arguably the second-most powerful leader in U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism Iran, after the Shiite-majority country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran, through the IRGC-QF, provides leadership, support, training, and funding to Tehran’s narco-terrorist proxy Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies across the world, including Latin America.
On Sunday, the U.S.-led coalition stated it had “paused” the training of Iraqi forces, which included some Iran-allied members of the Popular Mobilization Forces/Units (PMF/U), and the fight against ISIS to focus on protecting American troops at bases across Iraq.
The statement came before the Iraqi parliament voted to expel the American troops. Currently, Iraq houses an estimated 5,200 American troops who are in the country helping to fight the remnants of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). Iraq invited the American troops in 2014.
U.S. troops fought alongside the PMF against ISIS, a move that ultimately helped the Iran-allied forces take over territory along the Iraq border with Syria that allows them to call in reinforcements, particularly Hezbollah members.
Some PMF factions work together with Hezbollah, which alongside the IRGC-QF under Soleimani’s leadership, provided support and training to several terrorist and militant groups across the world, including Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.
The Associated Press reported Sunday:
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group vowed Sunday to end the U.S. military’s presence in the Middle East, saying U.S. bases, warships and soldiers were all fair targets following the recent U.S. killing of an Iranian general.
Hassan Nasrallah said the U.S. military “will pay the price” for the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq Friday. His comments further heightened tensions in a region already on high alert and bracing for Iranian retaliation.
Nasrallah said Soleimani was not only Iran’s concern but the entire so-called “axis of resistance,” a term used to refer to anti-Israel militant groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Palestinian territories. He said it was up to those groups to decide if and how they would retaliate.
He praised Soleimani and said “the shoe of Qassem Soleimani is worth the head of Trump and all American leaders.”
The Hezbollah leader’s comments on Sunday are reportedly the first since the United States ended Soleimani, which the Pentagon has blamed for hundreds of U.S. deaths. IRGC-QF fighters are also responsible for the death of perhaps thousands of Sunni Muslims in the Middle East.
PMF faction Kataib Hezbollah (KH) carried out the December 27 attack at the U.S. base in Kirkuk that killed an American contractor and injured several other troops. In response, the U.S. attacked the KH in Iraq and Syria, killing about 25 of their members and 50 others on December 29.
KH then ordered its supporter to decimate the nearly $1 trillion U.S. embassy in Baghdad starting on December 31, a move that preceded the death of Soleimani. There were no deaths or injuries during the attack on the U.S. embassy.
On January 3, President Trump declared the U.S. carried out the strike against Soleimani “to stop a war,” adding that Soleimani “was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
Iran and the United States have since been trading threats.
For years, the U.S. military has warned against the growing presence of Iran and its proxies IRGC-QF and the narco-terrorist group Hezbollah in Latin America. Breitbart News learned from U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity that Hezbollah and IRGC-QF are engaged in recruiting operations. Both proxies facilitated the thwarted attempted assassination of a Saudi diplomat in Washington, DC.
In Latin America, Hezbollah maintains and facilitates “networks throughout the region that cache weapons and raise funds, often via drug trafficking and money laundering,” the U.S. military has warned last year. According to the U.S. military, Hezbollah could exploit its relationship with Latin American drug cartels to infiltrate the United States through smuggling routes.
“Lebanese Hezbollah also maintains an infrastructure [in Latin American] with the capability to conduct or support terrorist attacks,” the U.S. warned in 2016.
Hezbollah, the IRGC-QF, other Iran-allied militiamen, and Russia have also helped dictator Bashar al-Assad stay in power.
Officials from the Trump administration deemed the IRGC-QF and some PMF units terrorist organizations.
The IRGC-QF-linked PMF now numbers an estimated 150,000 and wields unprecedented power in Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament legalized the PMF as a component of the U.S.-trained and funded Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in November 2016.
In December 2018, the Pentagon finally conceded under that not all PMF factions — namely KH and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) — are only nominally under Baghdad’s control. Their acknowledgment came after the Pentagon praised the PMF for helping to push ISIS out Iraq.