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Soleimani killing a ‘new phase’ for Middle East, says Hezbollah chief


Soleimani killing a ‘new phase’ for Middle East, says Hezbollah chief

The chief of Lebanon’s Iran-allied Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Sunday that the U.S. killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq was a “new phase” for the Middle East.

“Today we commemorate and honour a great Islamic leader.

“His killing marks the beginning of a new phase and a new date not only for Iraq or Iraq, but to the whole region,” Nasrallah said at a rally in southern Beirut.

As head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Soleimani wielded influence in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East where the Islamic Republic has a foothold.

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He was killed in a targeted drone strike on his convoy near Baghdad airport.

Addressing his followers via a TV video link, Nasrallah said that Soleimani’s killing was “not an ambiguous assassination. This is a blatant and clear crime.”

He called on the Iraqi government to retaliate for Soleimani’s killing by ending the U.S. military presence in the country.

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The death of Soleimani is not an Iranian issue, said Nasrallah.

“It is the issue of all groups of resistance in the region – in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen,” he added.

Nasrallah’s followers packed the complex where the commemoration was held and nearby streets.

As he spoke, they chanted: “Death to America.”

Clad in black, they carried Hezbollah and Iranian flags.

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Portraits of Soleimani were displayed along the streets in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold.




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