Hezbollah: US forces in Middle East to pay price for Soleimani killing


Posted at Jan 05 2020 11:48 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2020 11:49 PM

Hezbollah: US forces in Middle East to pay price for Soleimani killing 1
Vehicles pass near a picture of late Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, in Beirut's suburbs, Lebanon. Aziz Taher, Reuters

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

Nasrallah, speaking in a televised addressed marking Soleimani's death in a targeted US 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 US military presence in the Middle East would be "fair punishment" for the killing of Soleimani, listing US bases, naval ships and military personnel.

Founded by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in 1982, Hezbollah is a critical part of an Iranian-backed regional military alliance.

The United States has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

"When the coffins of American soldiers and officers begin to be transported ... to the United States, (US President Donald) Trump and his administration will realise that they have really lost the region and will lose the elections," Nasrallah said, referring to the 2020 US presidential election.

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".

Nasrallah also said that US civilians in the region "should not be touched" because this would serve Trump's agenda.

(Reporting by Beirut bureau; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Kevin Liffey)