Central Baghdad Twin Blast Casualties Rise To 28, More Than 73 Wounded

Central Baghdad Twin Blast Casualties Rise To 28, More Than 73 Wounded

By Staff, Agencies

A rare twin suicide bombing claimed the lives of 28 people so far, and wounded 73 others on a bustling commercial street in the heart of Baghdad on Thursday, the military said, rupturing months of relative calm.

Brigadier General Hazem al-Azzawi, the director of Baghdad Operations Command, told the Iraq News Agency [INA] that a “double explosion” hit a crowded market in the Bab al-Sharji area near Tayaran Square.

Medical sources told AFP news agency they feared the death toll could rise. The health ministry said it had mobilized medics across the capital to respond to the deadly attack.

Military spokesman Yahya Rasool said two suicide bombers detonated their explosives as they were being pursued by security forces.

An AFP reporter at the scene said the bombers had struck a huge open-air market for second-hand clothes in Tayaran Square.

After years of deadly violence following the 2003 US invasion, suicide bombings have become relatively rare in the capital. The last such attack took place in June 2019 and left several people dead.

No group claimed the attack immediately, but suicide attacks have mostly been used by Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group].

Iraq declared Daesh defeated at the end of 2017 after a fierce three-year campaign. But the group’s sleeper cells have continued to operate in desert and mountain areas, typically targeting security forces or state infrastructure with low-casualty attacks.

“This kind of attacks bears the hallmark of Daesh who have targeted crowded civilian areas in Baghdad with suicide attacks many times in the past,” said Sajad Jiyad, an Iraqi analyst.

Terrorism Industry : America is preparing Adel Abdel Bari to succeed Al-Zawahiri صناعة الإرهاب: أميركا تحضّر عادل عبد الباري خلفاً للظواهري!؟

*Please scroll down for the English Machine translation**

صناعة الإرهاب: أميركا تحضّر عادل عبد الباري خلفاً للظواهري!؟

باريس – نضال حمادة

عادل عبد الباري أحد أقرب مساعدي زعيم تنظيم القاعدة أسامة بن لادن والمتهم بتفجير سفارتي الولايات المتحدة في نيروبي ودار السلام والذي كان مسجوناً في الولايات المتحدة، حرّ طليق منذ يومين، بعد أن أطلقت السلطات الأميركية سراحه وغادر الى بريطانيا التي يحمل جنسيتها حيث التحق بعائلته هناك من دون أية مشاكل. وقد فرزت السلطات البريطانية دورية من الشرطة للسهر على أمنه وحراسته.

حجة أميركا التي برّرت بها إطلاق سراح المتحدث باسم تنظيم القاعدة أنه زاد في السمنة وقد يُصاب بوباء كورونا، وبالتالي حفاظاً على صحته وحياته تمّ إطلاق سراحه.

أميركا التي دمّرت نصف العالم العربي والإسلامي وقتلت ملايين البشر حول العالم، خصوصاً من العرب والمسلمين بحجة الإرهاب، واحتلت أفغانستان والعراق ودمّرت ليبيا وتشنّ حرباً ضروساً على سورية بحجة ملاحقة التنظيمات والعناصر الإرهابية، خصوصاً عناصر تنظيم القاعدة ، تفرج عن المتحدث باسم تنظيم القاعدة في وقت تظهر فيه إشارات وعلامات تشبه ما حصل بعد مقتل أسامة بن لادن قبل 11 عاماً، حيث حصل ظهور تنظيم الدولة داعش وبرزت عشرات التنظيمات والأمراء الجهاديون على جثة بن لادن، وهؤلاء كانوا أكثر من خدم السياسة الأميركيّة في المنطقة منذ الجهاد الأفغاني في ثمانينيّات القرن الماضي.

أميركا هذه تعيد الكرة الآن بعد اختفاء الظواهري، واختفاء تنظيم داعش بنسخته الأولى، وبدء ظهور النسخة الجديدة في مناطق البادية السورية الممتدّة نحو قاعدة التنف المحتلة من قبل أميركا في تلك البادية فضلاً عن عودة خلايا داعش الى الحدود العراقية السورية بعدما أمّنت لها الطائرات الأميركية الأرض بعمليات القصف المتواصل والدوري على مواقع ودوريات ومراكز الحشد الشعبي غرب العراق.

من هنا يمكن ملاحظة خروج عادل عبد الباري بعدما تأكد الأميركيون من موت الظواهري على ما يبدو، وكان موقع تابع لتنظيم حراس الدين في الشمال السوري قد أعلن قبل أيام عدة عن انقطاع الاتصال بين حراس الدين والظواهري قبل أن يحذف التغريدة، فهل تمّ إطلاق سراح القيادي المصري في تنظيم القاعدة ليحلّ مكان القيادي المصري الذي توفي…؟

علّمتنا التجارب أنّ الأميركي خبر هذا الجماعات التكفيرية المحاربة التي ما زالت في خدمته منذ حرب السوفيات في أفغانستان حتى الحرب في الشرق السوري حالياً…

Terrorism Industry : America is preparing Adel Abdel Bari to succeed Al-Zawahiri


Paris – Nidal Hamada

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-520.png

Adel Abdul-Bari, one of the closest aides to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who is accused of bombing the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, who was imprisoned in the United States, was free two days ago, where left for Britain and joined his family without any problems. British authorities have sorted out a police patrol to ensure his security and security.

America’s argument that justified the release of the Al-Qaeda spokesman is that he has become more obese and may be infected with the Corona epidemic, and thus, in order to preserve his health and life, he was released.

America, which destroyed half of the Arab and Muslim world and killed millions of people around the world, especially Arabs and Muslims under the pretext of terrorism, occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, destroyed Libya and waged a fierce war on Syria under the pretext of pursuing terrorist organizations and elements, especially Al-Qaeda elements. The release of the spokesman of Al Qaeda spokesman is similar to what happened after the killing of Osama bin Laden 11 years ago, after serving U.S. policy in the region since the Afghan Jihad in the 1980s, when ISIS emerged, and dozens of jihadist organizations and princes emerged on bin Laden’s body,

The United States is now returning the ball after the disappearance of al-Zawahiri, and ISIS in its first version, and the emergence of the new version in the Syrian desert extending towards al-Tanf occupied by America , as well as the return of ISIS cells to the Iraqi-Syrian border after U.S. aircraft supported by periodic American bombarding the positions of popular Mobilisation Popular force in western Iraq.

The release of Adel Abdel Bari, after the American’s confirmation the death of al-Zawahiri’s, can be seen as replacement al-Zawahiri, a site affiliated with the Guardians of Religion Organization in northern Syria announcing several days ago that communication between Hurras al-Din and Al-Zawahiri had been cut off, before the tweet was deleted.

Experience has taught us that takfirist fighting groups have been at US service since the Soviet war in Afghanistan until the war in eastern Syria today…

NATO Supremacists New Round of Frenzied War Crimes in Syria

MIRI WOOD 

Hasakah people protesting cutting off alouk water

NATO supremacists illegally in Syria have gone into a frenzy of increased war crimes against the Levantine republic, on 17 January: The lame duck Trump forces continue to empty silos in the al Jazeera region of grain; Madman Erdogan forces have again turned off water to one million Syrians living in al Hasakah; Trump cannon fodder SDF terrorists have kidnapped more young Syrian men from al Susa and Hajin, Deir Ezzor countryside.

Featured image above, shows thousands of Syrians demanding their water rights, again turned off by Madman Erdogan’s illegal troops occupying the Allouk water station. Video below is a glimpse of the demonstration.

While the transatlantic stenographers do their belly-bumping phony piety in lamentations over the 6 January invasion of the US Capitol by Trump supporters and various undercovers, and fake rend their clothing over 25,000 National Guard soldiers (to protect 1,435 senators and congress members) they remain arrogantly mute over the ongoing kidnappings, murders, bombings, water deprivation and destruction of essential infrastructure in the Arabic, Muslim-majority country of Syria.

The twenty convoy trucks that smuggled more stolen Syrian grain into Iraq were protected by illegal, armored, US vehicles. NATO supremacy means stealing other people’s foods. This massive theft was a follow up to the massive Syrian barley theft of 10 January, which also had the NATO stenographer supremacists on mute.

Trump forces smuggle stolen Syrian grains to Iraq
Trump forces loot and smuggle Syrian grains to Iraq

Depriving a civilian population of their water is also a war crime. In October 2019, NATO Madman Erdogan bombed the electrical grid at the Alouk station. The Syrian electricity army repairs it, after which Erdogan bombed it again, after which it was again repaired, after which Erdogan’s forces invaded and occupied the water plant. NATO supremacy also means trying to crush other people’s countries by stealing their water.

The demonic SDF separatists were originally created under the NATO supremacist Obama regime, which collected international wetworkers to teach the subsequent cannon fodder how to terrorize the Syrian population. During the Obama years, atrocities against Syria were perpetrated ‘by accident,’ as when he meant to war criminally bomb ISIS but accidentally slaughtered 83 Syrian soldiers defending their homeland.

 

The Trump regime expanded on Obama’s war crimes, intentionally bombed Syrian soldiers for al Qaeda, and set up criminal military bases in Syria (whereas Obama only sent in ‘spec operatives.’ See “Cue the Illegal Orangettes,” here.).

Today, a “weapons shop” run under Madman Erdogan’s al Qaeda forces in Idlib, blew up. It was located in a crowded market, near to a school. Western propagandists have remained silent on this atrocity, also. Imagine such a scene in Paris, London, Berlin, Philly, or Los Angeles being normalized:

Idlib explosion in weapons shop kills one person

Since the “deadly siege” on the US Capitol, 6 January, western supremacists have been aghast, horrified by a small fraction of what those western supremacists do to non-western countries, with impunity, on daily basis. Our unindicted war criminals that drop NATO weapons into the hands of savage beasts in Syria, call the psychopaths “freedom fighters” and cheer the horrors they perpetrate on the Syrian people, in the name of the imperial paraphilia, “democracy.”

Here are some examples of our glorious freedom and democracy, in DC, today, as inauguration day approaches; it does give the appearance of a military occupation, the type of which our terrified politicians in the Capitol on the first Wednesday of the first month of the new year, have imposed on mostly brown-skinned and/or Muslim majority countries for decades.

 

Some of the detritus, hysteria, and shame/lessness of DC may eventually be put into a box labeled “Trump,” and we shall probably return to our collective criminal work as imperial NATO supremacists, entitled to tying up those tedious loose ends of uppity countries refusing to be crushed by western humanitarian democracy.

When that time comes, may we watch Syria’s President Bashar al Assad, walking freely and safely among his fellow countrymen and women, and may we honestly denounce the supremacists among us.

— Miri Wood

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Israel & United States Unite Efforts In Large-Scale Strikes On Iranian Infrastructure In Syria

South Front

The first two weeks of 2021 have, so far, been marked by an incredible increase in Israeli activity in the skies over Syria.

The most intense strike took place on January 13 morning hitting multiple Syrian and Iranian-affiliated targets in the province of Deir Ezzor, including the underground base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps near al-Bukamal.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli strikes have killed 57 and wounded another 37. Pro-government sources confirmed only 5 casualties.

The airstrikes were so numerous that even Abu Yatem al-Katrani – the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 4th Brigade was killed in an airstrike.

The Israeli operations were carried out with the assistance of the United States – it provided intelligence and Israeli struck on them. Former CIA Director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly discussing the airstrikes with Yossi Cohen, chief of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

The US support of Tel Aviv’s aerial raids is a clear message to Iran, and is a very open support to Israel’s undeclared war against Iran, which it has been waging in Syria since hostilities began.

All of the airstrikes in the first two weeks of 2021 are the most significant by Israel, and over all, since the beginning of the war in Syria. They were so significant, that Damascus even accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the strikes in very open support of ISIS militants which the Syrian Arab Army is hunting.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a sense of urgency, or a sense of danger in the air, as the United States reinforced its troop positions in the Omar oil fields with artillery pieces and other equipment.

The US troops, together with their local proxies also hold frequent drills in the area, to keep ready, for some future unknown escalation.

Prior to New Year’s Eve, Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, in what Tehran claimed to be an elaborate Israeli operation.

Additionally, since around the same time, a farewell strike on Iran has been expected from US President Donald Trump, and the general chaos in the US ahead of Joe Biden stepping into office has been used by Israel as a chance to inflict as much damage as possible on Tehran and its allies.

Russia, at the same time, appears to also be preparing for an escalation of some sort, by building up its forces and is lying in wait.

Israel appears dead set on continuing its crusade against Iran and its allies in Syria. An urgency is felt, since Biden is unlikely to support Tel Aviv as much as Trump did, and every possible chance should be used. This is all in spite of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu removed the photo of Donald Trump from his Twitter, but all is fair in love and war.

Finally, both the American and Russian forces appear to be biding their time, waiting for an escalation that, with tensions at the breaking point appears closer than ever.

The year began with terrorist attacks in Syria, increased Israeli strikes, Iran threatening against any aggression against it, and the two most significant players in the face of Moscow and Washington are expecting an escalation, and no amount of preparation would be enough for the incoming storm.

US nuclear submarine comes in close contact with Iranian anti-submarine chopper: video

Iran ends massive war games in Strait of Hormuz, issues stern warning to enemies: photos

BY NEWS DESK 2021-01-14

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – A U.S. nuclear submarine was spotted making close contact with an Iranian military chopper this week, in a new escalation in the Persian Gulf region.

In a video released by the Iranian media and shared on social media, the U.S. nuclear submarine can be seen making close contact with the Iranian anti-submarine helicopter, the SH-3D, in the Persian Gulf waters.

The video, which is shared below, was allegedly take on Thursday, January 14th, in the Persian Gulf; however, the U.S. and Iranian forces have yet to comment on this close approach.

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2 Children Killed and 10 Others Injured in a Landmine Explosion in Daraa

Landmine explosion in Syria - Archive photo - انفجار لغم أرضي سورية

ARABI SOURI 

Two children were killed on the spot and ten other children were injured in a landmine explosion in the city of al-sheik Maskeen (Maskin), northern Daraa countryside.

The victims and the injured children were rushed to the National Hospital of Daraa and the National Hospital of Izraa.

A spokesman for the Daraa Police Department stated that ‘a landmine was detonated in the Eastern Neighborhood in al-sheik Maskeen in the northern Daraa countryside yesterday, January 11, 2021, in a group of young children killing two of them and injuring ten others.’ The police spokesman added that most of the victims are from the same family.

Syria is suffering massively from the tens of thousands of landmines and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) planted by the NATO-sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ of Al Qaeda FSA and of ISIS in all the areas they infested. In addition to planting a large number of military-grade landmines, gifted by the generous US and European taxpayers, the terrorists were making their own explosive devices in different shapes and sizes, some of which are like the usual household items. The terrorists would then spread their killing tools in its designated areas before they flee in order to continue killing and maiming Syrians, especially children who many of them were killed or lost limbs when picking up toys that were stuffed with explosives.

The task of demining and cleaning the regions newly liberated from NATO-sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ is overwhelming, to say the least, and it’s overwhelming for capable countries let alone a country that is still fighting terrorist groups in different parts of its territories, while it’s under a blockade and under inhumane draconian sanctions by the USA and its European minions preventing the Syrian state from acquiring needed tools to clear areas of the explosives and also impeding the procurement of medicine and medical tools and equipment.

Friendly civilized countries have been helping the Syrian state to clear the liberated areas from the explosives but those same countries are under attacks and sanctions as well by NATO and stooges.

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Trnaslated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Before I delve into the occasion of the first annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the two dear leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis [Hajj Jamal Jaafar], and their martyred comrades, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a few other events.

Firstly, the past few days marked the annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the great and truthful, Lady of the Women of the World, a piece of the Messenger of Allah [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family], the wife of God’s guardian, and the Mother of Imams [peace be upon them] Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahraa, the daughter of the Messenger of God. Muslims are unanimous in their veneration, reverence, appreciation, and love for her as well as for her dignity and greatness. This is an occasion to offer condolences to her grandson, Sahib Al-‘asr Wa Al-zaman and all Muslims in the world.

Secondly, in the past few days, we lost a great scholar, a jurist, and a thinker in the fullest sense of the word. This comes at a time when the number of thinkers is declining. He was a great Islamic thinker, a  prominent connoisseur, one of Allah’s righteous friends, an educator and a teacher, a loyal wise man, and a steadfast mujahid on the path of truth and in supporting the causes of the nation in this era. I’m talking about His Eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Misbah Al-Yazdi [may God Almighty be pleased with him].

Also on this occasion, we extend our condolences to His Eminence, Imam Khamenei, our honorable religious authorities and Hawzas, and our Islamic nation, especially for members of his honorable and generous family, as well as all his students and loved ones. I ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

In Lebanon, due to the coronavirus scourge, we lost a dear brother from the early generation. He was among the first groups and first founding leaders of Hezbollah’s march, brother Sayyed Abu Ayman Al-Mousawi [Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Al-Mousawi], may God have mercy on him. He was the companion of our martyr and leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi [may God Almighty be pleased with him]. He among the forerunners of the Mujahideen believers working and sacrificing in the Beqaa region. He was among the founders of the Imam al-Mahdi [PBUH] Scouts Association in Lebanon. He was its first president or its first general commissioner. I also offer condolences to all his brothers and sisters and companions on this path, especially his honorable and noble family members. I ask God to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

We come to our occasion. One year ago, in the early hours of the morning much like this one, around the same time in January, this great and tragic incident took place. It was recorded in history and will remain immortal – its magnitude, greatness, the grievances, the blood that was shed, its repercussions, its effects, and its consequences for the entire region.

Today, I would like to talk about several points related to this occasion and the events that occurred between then and the first anniversary.

The first point is loyalty to the martyred leaders and those who were martyred with them. Of course, when we talk about the martyrs, we must once again at the beginning extend our condolences and congratulate the families of martyr commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian martyrs who were martyred with him:

  • Martyr Hussein Jaafari Nia, who for 20 years was one of our brothers, a friend, a beloved person, and a shadow to Hajj Qassem.
  • Martyr brother Shahroud Mozaffari Nia
  • Martyr brother Hadi Tarmi
  • Martyr brother Wahid Zamanian

I also offer condolences and congratulate the family of martyr commander Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Jamal Jaafar, and the Iraqi martyrs who were with him:

  • Martyr Muhammad Reda Al-Jabri
  • Martyr Muhammad al-Shaibani
  • Martyr Hassan Abdel-Hadi
  • Martyr Ali Haidar

May God Almighty be pleased with them all.

Loyalty to the martyred leaders.

Loyalty, as we all know, is a human and innate value because man is born with it. It is a moral value that does not need to be inferred. It is a religious value. This is God’s religion.

When a loyal person practices loyalty, it benefits him in this world and the hereafter. Those who you are loyal to may not need your loyalty. The martyrs, who have departed to their great world beside God Almighty, do not need our loyalty. But being loyal to our great people and martyrs, to those who made sacrifices in our nation, to our defenders, to those who were sincere in bearing our responsibility and our causes will benefit us and will benefit our people, our children, and grandchildren in this world and in the hereafter.

Today, loyalty is a duty to these two great leaders, particularly to commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, for being in many arenas and for what they represent. How do we translate this loyalty?

First, we must not to negate their services and give them credit.

Second, we must acknowledge their services and give them credit. This means we should not be silent because it is possible that a person might not refute their services but does not acknowledge them and remains silent! Loyalty is to acknowledge their services and give them credit.

Third, we must remind them to the people, to the world, to our peoples, to our future generations, and to history. We must point out their sacrifices and their achievements. Being loyal means honoring these martyrs and respecting them, in various forms of honor and respect.

Another form of loyalty is to thank them publicly for what they offered and sacrificed. We must tell them thank you. We must thank Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the martyr commander. We must thank Hajj Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis. We must thank the martyrs. We must thank everyone who represents. We must thank these martyr leaders for the sacrifices they made for our peoples, countries, region, and causes. This gratitude is a duty. Look, God Almighty, who is in no need of us, our worship, and our thanksgiving, asks us to thank Him. He tells us that {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].} But if you deny, it’s a different matter.

Being thankful, being thankful for the blessings and for the services has very great effects even in this world. It is true that whoever stands by you is doing his duty. But when you thank him and when he finds you to be loyal to him, sincere with him, and acknowledging his services, his enthusiasm, courage, seriousness, and drive to help you, to support you, to defend you, and to stand beside you will be greater. This is human nature.

Thus, we must have this type of loyalty. Of course, there are other requirements for loyalty that I will not talk about now because there are people who cannot bear them.

From the first hour of this grave historical event, the martyrdom of these great figures, until today, the first annual anniversary, we have witnessed great and important manifestations of loyalty. For example, since the very first hours, there was great and massive public interaction in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the incident. People rushed to the squares in many governorates and cities, especially in the provincial centers. Also, the same took place when the bodies of the martyrs were brought and during the funeral procession. It was a historic funeral procession. A person can say it was the greatest funeral procession in human history. And if he wanted to be on the safe side, he’d say perhaps the greatest. You can examine this if you want.

This is an expression of loyalty. Since day one, Hajj Qassem was being mentioned by the Iranians – young and old, in all areas and provinces, the state, the regime, the officials, of course His Eminence the Leader, the Iranian people, the scholars, the religious authorities.

There were very diverse and various forms of honoring him and showing respect and appreciation, from that time until today. The Islamic Republic and in the words of His Eminence Imam Khamenei declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran. This was an official announcement. In Iran, a country with an ancient and prolonged civilization, the title of a national hero means a lot. Some Arab countries might consider it a slogan but not in Iran no. It has a different meaning.

In any case, what we have seen so far is an elevated expression of loyalty, love, affection, gratitude, remembrance, and recognition of merit. During all the interviews in which Iranians were asked, they would say that we do this to recognize what Hajj Qassem Soleimani offered to the Islamic Republic of Iran. That’s it.

Of course, this is a lesson for all of us on how to deal with our martyrs and our martyred leaders, how to honor them, how to respect them, how to praise them, how to glorify them, how to give them credit, and how not to be divided over them.

We have also witnessed this matter in Iraq, where this pure blood was shed and this heinous crime was committed,  in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey, in many Islamic countries, in many non-Muslim countries, in Venezuela, and in other capital cities in the world.

The main topic of my talk in this section is Lebanon. We have to remember, recognize, thank, and appreciate those who stood with us since the first day of the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Here, I will respond to some of the atmospheres and climates in Lebanon, and it is useful to mention them. We all remember that stage. “Israel” and the “Israeli” occupation army invaded Lebanese territory. There was a threat to occupy all Lebanese lands and target Damascus. Iran was preoccupied with a war imposed on it by Saddam Hussein’s regime and all the tyrants of the world and the region baking him.

Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini did not leave Lebanon or Syria. If we are to talk about interests, Iran’s interest was for its leaders, soldiers, and weapons to remain on the front to defend it. It was isolated and besieged by the whole world, yet it did not leave Lebanon or Syria.

Imam Khomeini sent a very high-ranking delegation of military commanders from the Guards Corps and the army to Damascus. They met with Syrian officials. After that, he also sent forces. However, it later became clear that “Israeli” advances stopped at the established borders, i.e. the western Beqaa, Mount Lebanon, and the areas it controlled in 1982. The rest of Lebanon was not threatened.

The conventional warfare stopped. Syria was not the subject of an invasion. So, the next stage was a stage of resistance. Some Iranian forces, specifically belonging to the Guards Corps, stayed behind to help the Lebanese, train and provide them with support to resist the occupation. Since 1982, Iran and Syria were the most important supporter of the resistance in Lebanon.

So when I’m asking the Lebanese people and when we’re talking about loyalty, being grateful, and giving credit to others, I am asking them who has been helping Lebanon liberate its lands since 1982. You tell me certain Arab state provided financial aid and helped rebuild. In recent years, they also provided huge sums of money to some Lebanese, not for Lebanon but for these Lebanese to fight the resistance, conspire against it, and besiege it. This is another research. Who stood by the Lebanese people, protected them, and defended them via diplomacy, politics, in the media, in international forums? Who gave them weapons and capabilities, set up training camps for them, trained them, and financed them until the liberation of the 2000 was achieved? It is very natural for those who were saddened, bothered, and hurt by the 2000 liberation not too feel gratitude. After 2000 and until today, the resistance, within the golden equation, is the one protecting Lebanon against the “Israeli” enemy. The resistance is the one that protects Lebanon. It is the one helping Lebanon to preserve its rights and sovereignty. We must admit this.

Allow me here to say a couple of words since it comes in this context. Yesterday, one of the dear brothers in Iran, Brother Brigadier General Hajj Zadeh, read a statement. The Lebanese media took the statement and distorted it. This is because there are people in Lebanon whose political presence is based on forgery and distortion.

The headline reads: Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Lebanon and Gaza’s missiles are support from us and are our first line in confronting “Israel”.

As for the actual news which was written in Arabic – we have not reached the text in Farsi yet – it reads: All the missile capabilities that Gaza and Lebanon possess are supported provided by Iran, and they are the first line in confronting “Israel”.

Nowhere does it say our first line in confronting “Israel”. There was no mention of Iran’s first line of defense in confronting “Israel”. Iran gave missiles to Gaza and Lebanon to make it possible for the people of Gaza and Lebanon to defend themselves.

But you are a group of weak people who distort news without making sure first and adding to the words of any Iranian official just for the sake of a media scoop.

And one of the graces of God is {perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.} There are people who have been absent for a long time. We haven’t heard from or made any statements. In the two days, they came out to respond to the aforementioned statement.

In the same statement, [Hajj Zadeh] says that we support and stand by all the people who ae confronting the occupation. This is an order from the Supreme Leader. What is wrong about this talk?

Yes, we also say that the Islamic Republic is the one that supports us with weapons and missiles. We also say that we are a front, and Gaza is a front. Gaza has been a front since 1948. Lebanon has been a front since 1948. But since 1948, Lebanon has been a front that was being killed and insulted. Its sovereignty was being violated. Gendarmes were arrested from their outposts in border villages. Massacres were committed in border villages. Lebanon’s airspace as well as territory and waters were violated. But today, it is a different front.

And I tell these people, if Lebanon is strong today and if there is anyone in the world asking about Lebanon or sees Lebanon on the map, or if anyone in America and Europe are asking about Lebanon, it is thanks to this resistance and these missiles. Full stop.

We all know – God willing, I will talk about this issue at a later time –what the value of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon is to the global and regional countries. I also want to tell them that if there was hope for Lebanon to have some money, it would be from the oil and gas. And if someone gave Lebanon the opportunity to extract gas and oil, especially from the rich blocs in the south, it is thanks to the resistance, its missiles, and its weapons – missiles that Iran and Syria gave to the resistance.

Therefore, I would also like to add and say that all Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon is unconditional. All the battles that the resistance fought in Lebanon from 1982 until today were for the sake of liberating Lebanon and the Lebanese prisoners and defending Lebanon’s land, waters, and sovereignty. It will remain like so. I can also add that perhaps one of the most important and most independent resistance in the history of mankind in terms of its decisions is this resistance that exists today in Lebanon. So, do not tire yourselves a lot. This will suffice for you.

In any case, when we come to loyalty, it is our duty in Lebanon. That is why it is very natural that we mark this occasion and celebrate it, name some of our streets, squares, natural reserves, and some institutions after Hajj Qassem Soleimani or Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Some people believe that we are overdoing it. In the past when we wanted to name a street after Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, or Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, some people got sensitive about the topic. Why?

Any people who respect themselves, have a civilization, have a culture, and have values deal with their martyrs this way. This is how they deal with people who served them, who were on their side, and supported them. This is also a form of loyalty – from a moral standpoint, I enter into the political topic. Being loyal is also not equating a friend to an enemy, or at the very least, those who left us behind and abandoned us – that is if we do not want to refer to them as enemies. In other words, there are three types of people. There is the enemy, a conspirator and a partner in shedding our blood, occupying our lands, and violating our sanctities. The second type is not the enemy, but they might leave you behind, abandon you, and not offer a helping hand or even a word. Then, there is the third type. These people help you, support you, stand by your side, defend you, put themselves in harm’s way, and offer martyrs. We must not treat these three types of people equally. Neither reason nor morals nor religion accept that, right? Neither human instinct nor logic accept this as well.

We in Lebanon cannot equate between those who supported us with their position, money, and weapons; were martyred with us; lived the hardship with us; helped us liberate our land and free our captives; and made us into a deterrent force in the face of the enemy and those who conspired against Lebanon in 1982 – all these were revealed in documents – supported the “Israeli” enemy during all the years of the occupation, did not provide any assistance to Lebanon, and urged the “Israelis” to continue the July war until the resistance is crushed, even though “Israel” was exhausted by the war and wanted to stop it.

We cannot consider those who were happy for our victory in the July war equal to those who were saddened by our victory. Today, too, we cannot consider those who stand by Lebanon and the strength of Lebanon to regain its oil and gas, protect its land and sky, and face any future dangers or threats equal to those who conspire against Lebanon, besiege it, and prevent it from getting aid.

Likewise in Palestine. The Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people cannot consider those who are providing them with money, weapons, expertise, technology, and training and those who are standing with them in the media, politically, publicly, and diplomatically at every level and bearing the consequences of this position equal to those who are conspiring with the Americans and the “Israelis” against Palestine, its people, and its sanctities as well as the Palestinian refugees in the world, preventing aid from reaching the Palestinian people, besieging and arresting people who are collect aid or donating money to the Palestinian people, let alone those giving them weapons. It is natural that we find loyalty from the Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people towards Hajj Qassem and the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Syria cannot equate between those who were partners, supporters, and financiers of the global war against it, aimed at crushing, destroying, and dividing it and allowing the takfiris to govern it and those who stood by Syria, supported it with money and weapons, men and martyrs, and spent their youth in its squares and fields, such as Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his brothers.

The Iraqis cannot consider those who occupied their lands, destroyed Iraq, committed grave massacres, caused all these disasters, supported all the takfiri groups, sent thousands of suicide bombers and thousands of car bombs to Iraq, provided money and weapons to Takfiri terrorist organizations for many years equal to those who sacrificed their selves, soul, brothers, money, and weapons to stand by the Iraqis, defend them, help them liberate their land from the occupation, help them get rid of Daesh and the Takfiri groups that were destroying and burning Iraq, looting, killing, and committing massacres and sedition. They cannot equate between them.

This is also the case when we talk about Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries. Hence, being loyal also requires that we not equate between these types of people, to know our friends from our enemies from our opponents, and to distinguish between who is just and who is negligent. Loyalty is also one of the conditions of victory. God Almighty threatened to take away blessings from those who disbelieve in them. And for those who are grateful, their blessings will be increased. God will increase their blessings. Loyalty is one of the conditions for victory. It is one of the conditions for perseverance, survival, and steadfastness.

Thus, this is the first topic. Still in this topic, I can say today: Yes, our axis, our nation, our peoples, the resistance movements, their parties, the states, and everyone concerned in this battle regionally expressed their sincerity, loyalty, position, gratitude, recognition, glorification, honor and appreciation to these two great martyr leaders in a proportionate and different manner. And we must continue this. This should not end with the end of the first anniversary. Today, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi, and all the martyrs are torches. They are suns and moons that illuminate the path for us, and this lighting and guidance must continue.

Second point:

The second point that I want to talk about in this commemoration is the impact of this incident from the beginning until today. This incident was strongly present all year long – in the sentiments, emotions, as well as in the political, security, and military equations. As we speak, there is great concern in the region, in the Gulf region and in Iraq and in our region. Yesterday, the “Israelis” announced that they had raised the level of alert and reserve in their army to the highest levels. All this because of the anniversary of the assassination of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This incident imposed itself. And today, the region is in a state of grave tension. Let us not hide behind our finger. We do not know where any incident might drag the region to. The Americans, at the very least, are in a state of fear and worry and are waiting. This is what they are saying.

The brothers in Iran also assume that Trump may prepare something before his departure on January 20. The entire region is in a state of caution and attention. This is as a result of the impact of this incident. This incident cannot be overlooked. And I tell you, this incident will always have a strong impact. Here, I would also like to refer to a very important point because some people here in Lebanon and abroad think in a wrong way. For example, when it comes to the response to the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, some assume that Iran will depend on its proxies as they call them, on its friends, or on its loved ones.    

Iran does not ask its proxies, its friends, or its loved ones for anything, and it has never asked them for anything. When Iran decides to respond militarily as it did in Ain al-Assad, it will respond militarily. When it responds on the security level, it will be in accordance with the nature of the incident.

The assassination of the great nuclear scientist, martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh was a security operation. If Iran wanted to respond militarily, it would have done so from the beginning or in the first few days, as it responded at Ain Al-Assad base after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. If Iran’s friends, who are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the martyrs, took the initiative to respond, it is their business and decision. But what I want the enemies, the friends, and the analysts to know so they do not misanalyse is that Iran is not weak. Iran is strong when it wants to respond militarily and at the security level at the appropriate time, place, and manner.

Some people in Lebanon and the region measure Iran in terms of some of its regional friends. Iran is not like that. Here, I am talking to some of the Lebanese as well. When your master, Trump, talks about some of your regional friends, he says they have nothing but money and that “King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us.” “If we were not defending you, you’d be speaking Farsi in three weeks.”

These are your friends. This is why they need America and others, like the Takfiri groups, and need to finance gangs and mercenaries so that they can defend them, their borders, and even their regimes.

As for Iran, it is strong and does not even need its friends and allies. Let this matter remain clearly present in the minds of everyone who wants to analyze, comment, or approach events of this kind.

Third point:

Also during this commemoration, I want to emphasize that the axis of resistance was able to absorb this big blow. We admit that the blow was very grave and the loss was very great, but the axis was able to absorb it. The Americans, those who helped them, and those who instigated them assumed that when we kill Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the situation in Iraq will turn in their favor and the axis of resistance will collapse. Hajj Qassem represented the wise, courageous, serious, and persevering link, a link that binds the countries, forces, and movements of the axis of resistance. Hence, if we kill this man, the link will be broken.

All this has been addressed and absorbed. Based on our culture, belonging, and history, we know how to turn threats into opportunities. We also know how to transform blood that was unjustly shed into a strong drive to persevere, be steadfast, remain on the path, and be more responsible. They thought that shedding that blood will lead to frustration, despair, carelessness, weakness, withdrawal, or retreat. That is why in the context of this battle, I want the Americans, the “Israelis”, everyone belonging to their axis, and those who kill our leaders and conspire to assassinate our leaders, scholars, elites, or kill our mujahideen, our people, our men and women to know two things very well.

Imam Khomeini used to say, “Kill us; our nation will become more awaken.” Sayyed Abbas used to repeat this phrase: “When you kill us, our people will become more aware.” Look at how Hezbollah in Lebanon was before Sayyed Abbas was martyred. What did it become after his martyrdom? What moral, intellectual, spiritual, and voluntary status and strength did the blood and martyrdom of Sayyed Abbas give to this march? It is the same thing when we talk about the martyrs.

The other thing I wanted to add is when you kill our leaders, we become more adamant, hardened, and more committed to the truth, and our sense of responsibility increases. We’ve lost these great people on this path. How can we abandon it?

Therefore, whoever is betting that murders, assassinations, wars, car bombs, sieges, and sanctions will weaken our will, determination, and resolve is weak. I will later conclude with the sanctions.

Fourth point:

If Iran declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran, we are presenting him as a global hero, a global symbol, a world title, and a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and loyalty that defends the weak and the oppressed, whether they were Muslims or not.

In every battle and in his entire life, Hajj Qassem Soleimani not only defended the Shiites, but he also defended the Sunnis, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Christians, Muslims, the followers of other religions and denominations, Venezuela, and any country or people that could be besieged, weakened, or conspired against. He was present in the squares. These various and great traits that exist in the personality of this leader qualify him to be a global symbol and hero, to be emulated by all the resistance and mujahideen of this world.

There are also great symbols alongside him. In Iraq, there is Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine in Lebanon and Syria. There are also martyr leaders in Palestine, Yemen, and other arenas. These are symbols and patriotic and national heroes in their country and their nation. But Hajj Qassem Soleimani leads because he was present in all these squares, present strongly and effectively in all of these squares. That is why he must be rightfully introduced. We are not exaggerating or make a legend out of him or anything. Until this moment, I tell you, what has been revealed about Hajj Qassem Soleimani, about the nature of this figure, about his jihad, his watchfulness and his sacrifices, about his achievements as well as the achievement of all the brothers who worked with him in all arenas, have so far been little. There are things that cannot be revealed since the time to talk about them is not appropriate. But they will be revealed later.

In any case, on the first anniversary, I also call for taking this position, dealing with this name, this scene, this image, and this symbolism at this international and global level.

Fifth point:

The last point that I would like to point to is regarding the future, continuing the path. This incident has repercussions. It has very important implications and effects:

1- Expelling America out of the region: This slogan would not have become a slogan and a declared and serious goal that all the peoples of the region should work if it were not for this historical incident and its magnitude. The Americans created Daesh. Trump talked about Hillary Clinton and Obama, but he did not continue. This means the CIA and the Pentagon, i.e. all the Americans. In other words, the Obama administration created Daesh.

By the way, I remember a funny thing when Daesh appeared. Some Gulf newspapers and this black room in the Gulf worked on a group of magazines and articles published by some media outlets, reporting that a meeting took place on the Iranian-Afghan border with three people attending it – myself, the poor servant, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and Osama Bin Laden – and made the decision to form Daesh. Take a look at the level of emptiness, stupidity, and shallowness of the media in the other axis.

In any case, when Trump said the Americans created Daesh, they created it for objectives related to Syria, Iraq, and the whole region. A senior American general admitted that they created Daesh. This can be found on social media, and the boys always acquire them. Even Clinton herself admit it. But now, I remember this specifically. He is a retired American major general or lieutenant general – God knows. He was a military commander of NATO. He said we can only fight Hezbollah with Daesh. We created Daesh to fight Hezbollah. Daesh was created so that the American army would return to Iraq and occupation would return to Iraq, but in a different way.

This incident, this assassination pushed the Iraqi people to take to the street. One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the Iraqi people came out following the assassination. It demanded the withdrawal of the American forces. Then, there was the very important decision taken by the Iraqi parliament that is following up on its implementation with the Iraqi government. the talk now is that the Americans will withdraw within a year or two. The Americans promised to withdraw in three years. This is a detail that concerns the Iraqis themselves. But the incident put the US forces on the path out of Iraq, and this is being pursued by the Iraqis themselves with all the means they see fit. So, this is a goal, which is related to the next phase.

2- Just retribution: Imam Khamenei clearly and specifically defined the circle of the killers of martyred commanders Hajj Soleimani and Haji Abu Mahdi – those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination. It is true that, first and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the Iranians to avenge Hajj Qassem and a primary responsibility of the Iraqis to avenge Hajj Abu Mahdi. But I want to repeat what I said a few days ago via Al-Mayadeen. This is also the responsibility of every free, honorable, resistance fighter, and loyal person on the planet to be a partner in enforcing this punishment.

3- To continue to defend the states, peoples, and movements of the resistance against all the threats that may arise. We are witnessing a revival of some of these takfiri groups, in Iraq and Syria. Recently, there were dangerous operations carried out by Daesh.

4- Palestine, Al-Quds, and the holy sites. It is our natural right to continue to stand by this dear and generous people.

This is the path, and this axis will continue on this path and this battle. Of course, every person should follow it in accordance with what is appropriate for his country, taking into account the group of national interests. We did that and we still do. This axis is managed by its leaders in different countries with reason, wisdom, and understanding of the circumstances of each other in an accurate and responsible manner, not as some imagine. Had it not been for this situation in the leadership of the axis, all these victories and achievements would not have been accomplished. The defeats that befell the other anxious and dilapidated projects  would not have been possible. We have a horizon, but the others don’t. It is through logic, evidence, proof, and argument and not through pretense and slogan, and giving empty morale. Absolutely not.

This is all I’m going to talk about regarding the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great martyr commanders. With regard to the Lebanese file, I felt that if I were to speak at length, it will take more time. Since I wanted to conclude before seven o’clock, I will, God willing, speak in a few days. We’ll see maybe Thursday or Friday, so there’s a break between the two speeches. It will be a speech solely on Lebanese issues. There are several topics that I’d like to talk about, including the government, the developments and the investigation regarding the port, the Americans interfering in the issue of the port, judicial developments regarding this matter, the living and social situation. I have something to say about the Al-Qard Al-Hasan Association. According to our data, the Americans paid some television stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to only report on the Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association. Since Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association has become the subject of official, political, and media attention, I’d like to talk about this topic. I will also talk about the banks, the depositors, the sanctions, and the political choices. Now we are hearing about political and economic choices. So, God willing, my next talk will be purely about the Lebanese file. Now the demarcation of the border and the situation with the “Israeli” enemy, the resistance, oil and gas, in any case, we have talked today and we have spoken several days ago. But God willing, I will focus on these topics.

I would like to conclude by advising those who are thinking about imposing a siege and sanctions. I asked the brothers here to give me a list. They provided me with a long list that dates back to last year and the year before. In the past few months, in particular, the Trump administration has been working on luring countries to normalize [ties with “Israel”] and others to place Hezbollah on the terror and sanctions lists. The Americans worked on this. There were even countries that we never heard of or countries that are of no value to us, like Slovenia. I don’t want to underestimate any country. But if you asked the Lebanese people, what is Slovenia? Some might say it’s the name of a ship, an island, a hotel. With all due respect to this state, this is the reality. For example, there are small countries in far away corners of the world that no one has heard of and no one knows anything about declaring that they have placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, how do we know about this? From the Americans.

Pompeo would call them and thank them. Good job. God bless you.  So, what’s the story? They placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, they know this does nothing. Its goal is psychological – to make the Lebanese people or Hezbollah feel besieged, that the world is besieging it and rejecting it, the world is placing it on the terror list. This is part of the subjugation battle.

I want to end on a moral note. In our culture, we believe in God Almighty and that the realm of the heavens and earth and everything is in the hand of God Almighty. And we consider that we are doing our taklif [religious obligation]. As His servants, we worship Him. We worship Him during prayers and in jihad. When we obey Him and worship Him, we become His soldiers. When we become His soldiers, we become among His soldiers in this existence and in this universe.

{And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.}

Even if you besieged us in a small plot of land, we are the ones to feel it. Just for you to know who you are fighting and besieging. We do not feel that we are trapped. We have the land, the mountains, the valleys, the dirt, the rivers, the seas, the oceans, the clouds, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seven heavens, the angels, and what He has created from what we know and what we do not know all on our side. We feel that you are the ones that are trapped. America and its greatness are trapped. Our enemies are all trapped. We are not besieged. He who believes in God cannot feel surrounded even if all the landscape closed down on him.

You are fighting a failed battle that will not lead to any results. Killing us will only increase our awareness, persistence, and determination.  Besieging us will only increase our confidence, dependence, and connection to the true source of strength that creates victory. {And victory is not but from Allah.}

Peace, and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Pakistan’s Hazaras Wait for Imran Khan Amidst Coffins of Their Loved Ones

Pakistan’s Hazaras Wait for Imran Khan Amidst Coffins of Their Loved Ones

By Saad Hasan – TRT WORLD

The murder spree has gone on for years. People belonging to Pakistan’s ethnic Hazara minority have been attacked in their homes, in shops, in mosques, at the doctor’s clinic, inside a snooker club and picked out from among other passengers on busses, forced to line up and summarily executed.

A similar episode played out again on January 3 when 11 Hazara miners were killed in the troubled Balochistan province. Daesh [ISIS/ISIL] claimed responsibility for the grisly incident in which the hands of the victims were bound and then their throats slit. A video of the killing was later uploaded on the internet.

Hazaras, most of whom ascribe to the Shia Muslim faith, have been relentlessly targeted in the past two decades. More than 2,000 people have been killed in suicide bombings and drive-by shootings between 2004 and 2018.

“We want these killings to end. That’s all we want. We are tired of burying our loved ones. All we want now is Prime Minister Imran Khan to come and give us surety that this won’t happen again,” Syed Abbas Ali, a member of the Hazara community, told TRT World from Quetta, Balochistan’s capital.

Hundreds of people have joined a sit-in protest on a highway near Quetta. They have placed the coffins there and refused to bury the dead until Khan comes to meet the families.

“Several government officials have met us. But that doesn’t mean anything. Whenever something like this happens, they come and give us the same assurances. It has done little to stop the cycle of violence,” says Ali.

Khan has refused to go personally and meet the mourners at the time of writing, promising that he will do so later. His decision along with the statement of one of his advisors, which was widely seen as being insensitive, has angered many.

Protests against the killings have also erupted in other cities including Karachi.

Most of the Hazara population, generally recognizable for their distinctly Central Asian facial features, is centered around Quetta. The size of the community is estimated to be around 800,000.

For years, Pakistan’s security forces have battled separatist insurgents in Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan. Sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which openly call the Shia heretics is also behind a spate of terrorist attacks.

The miners were living in makeshift quarters near a coalfield, located some 60km from Quetta, leaving them particularly vulnerable to such an attack, Zafar Baloch, a local journalist, told TRT World over the phone.

“A number of terrorist attacks against the Hazara community have come down in the last few years. The situation was really bad up till 2013 when someone was being targeted every 4-5 days.”

The year 2013 was particularly devastating for Hazara community. More than 175 people were killed in back-to-back bombings in January and February. In one incident, a suicide bomber killed scores of young men at a snooker club. When rescue services began evacuating the injured, an ambulance laden with explosives exploded, killing more.

Islamabad has deployed around a thousand paramilitary troops and police for security. But that has limited the movement of many Hazara people who are confined to a few areas such as Hazara Town or Alamdar Road in Quetta city.

Security escorts are needed whenever pilgrims travel by road to Iran where several Shia shrines are located. Even vegetable vendors need armed protection when they travel to the wholesale market.

The fear of being shot dead has forced thousands of young men to make their way towards Southeast Asia and then take the dangerous sea journey on rickety boats to seek refuge in Australia. Many have sold their businesses and moved to other cities in Pakistan.

A sizable Hazara population also lives in neighboring Afghanistan where thousands of them have been killed by the Taliban.

According to some reports, there were some Afghans among the dead miners. Abbas Ali says making an issue of the nationality of the victims undermines the severity of the situation.

“Does it matter where they came from? The fact is they were brutally murdered and we should all be condemning it.”

Israel Bombs Damascus while World Riveted to Capitol Hill Mayhem

 MIRI WOOD 

Israel bombs southern damascus on Orthodox Christmas eve

At the late night of the 6th of January and while the Orthodox Syrian Christians were celebrating Christmas eve, Israel engaged in yet another war criminal bombing of Syria, in Damascus countryside, taking advantage of the world riveted on the storming of Capitol Hill by ‘peaceful protesters’ ‘democratically’ engaged in trying to prevent the official confirmation of the election of demented Joe Biden.

A military source stated that: “at exactly eleven and ten minutes this evening, the Israeli enemy carried out air aggression through bursts of missiles fired from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan on some targets in the southern region.

People in southern Damascus heard and saw Syrian air defense fired at the incoming missiles and some explosions in the skies and others from the southern direction.

This video is also available on YouTube and BitChute.

Netanyahu and his Trump buddy need an escalation that led to the mayhem in Washington DC, this is the 3rd Israeli attack on southern Syria in the past 2 weeks only, the first bombing was on the eve of the 25th of December and the second was on the 30th of January:

The country that exported its version of democracy to countries that didn’t need it by ways of military invasions, black op covert attacks, destabilizing efforts using 5th column elements, sanctions, stealing wealth of the targeted countries while appointing some of the most despised figures as presidents of those countries, yet it was very much comfortable with dictators and absolute monarchies in countries that do not have a constitution even like in the cases of Saudi Arabi and Qatar, who both jointly funded Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria to the tune of 137 Billion Dollars up until 2017 as per a statement of the Qatari former Prime Minister.

And instead of pushing for the rights of people in Palestine, the US regimes throughout history has empowered and encouraged Israel to attack its neighbors and steal more land to the extent that the current PM of Israel, Netanyahu, takes advantage of his close relationship with the US despot Trump repeating the elections in Israel for 4 times within 2 years because he’s not getting a majority to save him from prison on multiple charges of corruption in the last apartheid regime in the world, we’re here today with the evil powers of the world attacking other countries and trying to ignite more wars and strife so they can remain in power.

What we saw in the US Capital of mobs attacking the center of the fake US democracy and a real ‘peaceful protester’ sitting on the chair of the head of the congress is exactly what the US did to Venezuela and a host of other countries. That was a real peaceful protest compared with what the officials in the US and its stooges worldwide and their mainstream media called as ‘peaceful protesters’ Al Qaeda terrorists torching public buildings in Syria, slitting the throats of kidnapped police officers and public workers and throwing post office workers off the rooftop of their 4 story building. The citizens and residents of the United States of America are lucky there’s no US embassy in Washington, otherwise, it would be a very different scene, a long time ago.

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Assassination of Gen. Soleimani ‘was a flagrant instance of state terrorism’: Richard Falk

Source

January 4, 2021 – 11:4

 TEHRAN – The assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani by the United States in January 2020 “was a flagrant instance of state terrorism,” says Richard Anderson Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

Falk makes the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times as Iran is marking the assassination anniversary of the senior military officer in January 2020.

General Soleimani, a legendary commander in the war against terrorists, was assassinated near Baghdad’s international airport while he was on a peace mission to Iraq.

The prominent  international law professor also says, “Iran has opposed non-state political violence of groups such as ISIS or Taliban that engage in terrorist activity by committing atrocities against civilians that amount to Crimes Against Humanity.”

“Although a military officer, General Soleimani, was not in any combat role when assassinated, and was engaged in peacemaking diplomacy on a mission to Iraq” “Iran has also consistently condemned state terrorism of the sort practiced by Israel and the United States,” says the American professor who acted as the UN Human Rights Rapporteur in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In 1972, a specialized Committee on Terrorism was set up at the United Nations, and member states made great efforts to provide appropriate definitions of international terrorism, but due to intense political differences, the actual definition of international terrorism and comprehensive conventions in practice was impossible. Security Council Resolution 1373 was the most serious attempt to define terrorism after 9/11, which evolved into UN Security Council Resolution 1535. Despite providing a definition of terrorism, countries approach it differently. What is the reason?

A: There exists a basic split between those political actors that seek to define ‘terrorism’ as anti-state violence by non-state actors and those actors that seek to define terrorism as violence directed at innocent civilians, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator. The latter approach to the definition reaches targeted or indiscriminate violence directed at civilians even if the state is the perpetrator. States that act beyond their borders to fulfill counterrevolutionary goals seek to stigmatize their adversaries as terrorists while exempting themselves from moral and legal accountability.

There exists a second basic split due to state practice following political rather than legal criteria when identifying terrorist actors. When the Taliban and Al Qaeda were opposing Soviet intervention in Afghanistan they were identified as Mujahideen, but when seen as turning against the West, they were put on the top of the terrorist list. Osama Bin Laden once hailed as a Western ally deserving lavish CIA support became the most wanted terrorist after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Such subjectivity and fluidity makes it virtually impossible to develop a coherent and legal approach to ‘terrorist’ activity.

“The truth is that General Soleimani had been playing a leading counterterrorist role throughout the region. He is thought to have been primarily responsible for the ending, or at least greatly weakening, the threat posed by ISIS.”In essence, geopolitical actors have always sought to have international law regard the use of force by states acting on their own as falling outside the framework of terrorism while regarding transnational political violence by adversary or enemy non-state actors as terrorism even if the targeted person or organization is a government official or member of the armed forces, or if the non-state actor is resisting occupation by foreign armed forces. Before the 9/11 attacks Israel influentially adopted this approach in its effort to portray Palestinian resistance as a criminal enterprise. After 9/11 the United States added its political weight to this statist approach to the conception of terrorism, which meant in effect that any adversary target that could be characterized as associated with a non-state actor that resorted to armed struggle was criminalized to the extent of being treated as unprotected by international humanitarian law. In practice, this subjectivity was vividly displayed in recent years by support given to anti-Castro Cuban exiles that engaged in political violence against the legitimate Cuban government, and yet were given aid, support, and encouragement while based in the United States.

The UN was mobilized after the 9/11 attacks by the United State to support this statist/geopolitical approach to political violence, which possessed these elements, and given formal expression in a series of Security Council Resolutions, including 1373, 1535:

 –terrorists are individuals who engage in political violence on behalf of non-state actors;

 –states, their officials and citizens may be guilty of supporting such activities through money, weapons, and safe haven, and therefore indictable under national law as aiding and abetting terrorism;

–political violence by states, no matter what its character, is to be treated by reference to international law, including international humanitarian law, and not viewed as terrorism;

 –even if the non-state actor is exercising its right of resistance under international law against colonialism or apartheid, its political violence will be treated as ‘terrorism’ if such a designation furthers geopolitical ambitions. 

“Iran is legally entitled to provide assistance to such a government (Syrian government) faced with insurgent challenges from within its boundaries.”The alternative view of terrorism that I endorse emphasizes the nature of political violence, rather than the identity of the perpetrator. As such, political violence can be identified as ‘state terrorism,’ which amounts to uses of force that are outside the framework of war and peace, and violate the sovereign rights of a foreign country or fundamental rights of citizens within the territory of the state. Such acts of terrorism may be clandestine or overt, and may be attributed to state actors when counterrevolutionary groups are authorized, funded, and encouraged directly or indirectly by the state. Non-state actors can also be guilty of terrorism if their tactics and practices deliberately target civilians or recklessly disregard risks of death or harm to civilians.

Q: How do you assess the role and position of Iran in the fight against terrorism in the region?

A: As far as I know, Iran has opposed non-state political violence of groups such as ISIS or Taliban that engage in terrorist activity by committing atrocities against civilians that amount to Crimes Against Humanity. Iran has also consistently condemned state terrorism of the sort practiced by Israel and the United States, and possibly other governments, within the region. In this regard, Iran has been active both in the struggle against non-state and state terrorism.

Iran has been accused of lending funding and material support to non-state actors that many governments in the West officially classify as ‘terrorist’ organizations, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Part of the justification for U.S. sanctions arises from this allegation that Iran supports terrorism in the Middle East. These allegations are highly ‘political’ in character as both Hezbollah and Hamas engaged in violent resistance directed at unlawful occupation policies that denied basic national rights to the Lebanese and Palestinian people, including the fundamental right of self-determination, although some of their tactics and acts may have crossed the line of legality.

“When the Taliban and Al Qaeda were opposing Soviet intervention in Afghanistan they were identified as Mujahideen, but when seen as turning against the West, they were put on the top of the terrorist list.”There are also contentions that Iran’s support for the Syrian government in dealing with its domestic adversaries involves complicity in behavior that violates the laws of war and international humanitarian law. This contention is a matter of regional geopolitics. As far as international law is concerned, the Assad government in Damascus is the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and is treated as such at the UN. Iran is legally entitled to provide assistance to such a government faced with insurgent challenges from within its boundaries. If the allegations are true that Syria has bombed hospitals and other civilian sites, then the Syrian government could be charged with state terrorism.

Q: How do you assess the role and position of General Qassem Soleimani in the fight against terrorists, especially ISIS?

A: Although a military officer, General Soleimani, was not in any combat role when assassinated, and was engaged in peacemaking diplomacy on a mission to Iraq. His assassination was a flagrant instance of state terrorism. With considerable irony, the truth is that General Soleimani had been playing a leading counterterrorist role throughout the region. He is thought to have been primarily responsible for the ending, or at least greatly weakening, the threat posed by ISIS to the security of many countries in the Middle East.

Q: Given the conflict of interests of different countries, can we see the same action by countries against terrorism? What mechanism can equalize the performance of countries against terrorism?

A: As suggested at the outset, without an agreed widely adopted and generally agreed-upon definition of terrorism it is almost impossible to create effective international mechanisms to contain terrorism. As matters now stand, the identification of ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism’ is predominantly a matter of geopolitical alignment rather than the implementation of prohibitions directed at unacceptable forms of political violence within boundaries and across borders.

To imagine the emergence of effective international or regional, mechanisms to combat terrorism at least four developments would have to occur:

“As matters now stand, the identification of ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism’ is predominantly a matter of geopolitical alignment rather than the implementation of prohibitions directed at unacceptable forms of political violence within boundaries and across borders.”

–the reliance on legal criteria to categorize political violence as terrorism;

–the inclusion of ‘state terrorism’ in the official definition of terrorism;

–the inclusion of political violence within the sovereign territory as well as across boundaries;

–an internationally or regionally agreed definition incorporating these three elements and formally accepted by all major sovereign states and by the United Nations.

In the present international atmosphere, such an international consensus is impossible to achieve. The United States and Israel, and a series of other important states would never agree. There are two sets of obstacles: some states would not give up their discretion to attack civilian targets outside their borders and would not accept accountability procedure that impose limits on their discretion over the means used to deal with domestic transnational non-state adversaries.

Under these conditions of geopolitical subjectivity such that from some perspectives non-state actors are ‘freedom-fighters’ and from others, they are ‘terrorists,’ no common grounds for meaningful and trustworthy intergovernmental arrangements exists.

It remains important for individuals and legal experts to advocate a cooperative approach to the prevention and punishment of terrorists and terrorism by reference to an inclusive definition of terrorism that considers political violence by states and by governments within their national territory as covered.

It is also in some sense to include non-state actors as stakeholders in any lawmaking process that has any prospect of achieving both widespread acceptance as a framework or implementation at behavioral levels. It would seem, in this regard, important to prohibit torture of terrorist suspects or denial of prisoner of war rights. One-sided legal regimes tend to be rationalizations for unlawful conduct, and thus operate as political instruments of conflict rather than legal means of regulation.

Washington uses DAESH and Iraqi traitors to fragment the country

Nasrallah about Qassem Soleimani and his victory against ISIS in Iraq


Date: 3 January 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the al-Quds Force (whose ultimate goal is the Liberation of Jerusalem) of the Revolutionary Guards, on the occasion of the 40th day after his death, February 13, 2020.

January 3, 2021 commemorates the 1st anniversary of the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On this occasion, we are translating a few excerpts from this 2-hours long interview.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2099

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Journalist: […] You mentioned on several occasions the concept “School of Hajj Qassem Soleimani”. His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei) also referred to it. What meaning do you give to this concept? Can you explain it to us? What does the concept “School of Hajj Qassem” mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, this concept originated from the Way of Imam Khomeini, may God be pleased with him, from the School of Imam Khomeini. But we can say that in practice and in the field, in all the responsibilities that Hajj Qassem has assumed and everything he has endured, we can speak of a Way, in the sense —and it may be something deliberate— of a certain thought, of a set of thoughts, of a particular culture, of a specific way of doing things… I will give you some examples. Of course, we are talking about an issue that deserves (in-depth) thought and study, but I will give a few quick illustrations.

For example, Hajj Qassem is the leader of a force of the (Revolutionary) Guards [he says it in Persian]. He could stay in Iran, in Tehran, and tell others (Resistance Axis forces) to come to him regularly for a meeting, so that he can listen to them, and follow their affairs (from a distance) in a simple and routinely fashion. Or, if he visited them, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, he could for example (only do it) once every 6 months or once a year, he could just visit them once in a while to find out and inquire. In general, this is the way some (high-ranking) leaders act.

The Path of Hajj Qassem is to go to the field of action, to the battlefield, to (constantly) go himself to others. Since 1998 (year in which Soleimani became the leader of the Al-Quds Forces), since our knowledge and our relationship with Hajj Qassem began, that is to say for twenty years, 21 or 22 years, the number of times we have been to him (in Iran) is very limited. But for his part, he always came to us, very often. Of course, the very fact of coming to the field, to the battlefield, to meet the (Hezbollah) brothers here, to meet them all, to go directly to the field, to hear (directly) from the fighters and Mujahedeen, this has enormous benefits and advantages in terms of leadership and administration.

Date: 3 January 2021Author: lecridespeuples0 Comments

Interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the al-Quds Force (whose ultimate goal is the Liberation of Jerusalem) of the Revolutionary Guards, on the occasion of the 40th day after his death, February 13, 2020.

January 3, 2021 commemorates the 1st anniversary of the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On this occasion, we are translating a few excerpts from this 2-hours long interview.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2099

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Journalist: […] You mentioned on several occasions the concept “School of Hajj Qassem Soleimani”. His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei) also referred to it. What meaning do you give to this concept? Can you explain it to us? What does the concept “School of Hajj Qassem” mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, this concept originated from the Way of Imam Khomeini, may God be pleased with him, from the School of Imam Khomeini. But we can say that in practice and in the field, in all the responsibilities that Hajj Qassem has assumed and everything he has endured, we can speak of a Way, in the sense —and it may be something deliberate— of a certain thought, of a set of thoughts, of a particular culture, of a specific way of doing things… I will give you some examples. Of course, we are talking about an issue that deserves (in-depth) thought and study, but I will give a few quick illustrations.

For example, Hajj Qassem is the leader of a force of the (Revolutionary) Guards [he says it in Persian]. He could stay in Iran, in Tehran, and tell others (Resistance Axis forces) to come to him regularly for a meeting, so that he can listen to them, and follow their affairs (from a distance) in a simple and routinely fashion. Or, if he visited them, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, he could for example (only do it) once every 6 months or once a year, he could just visit them once in a while to find out and inquire. In general, this is the way some (high-ranking) leaders act.

The Path of Hajj Qassem is to go to the field of action, to the battlefield, to (constantly) go himself to others. Since 1998 (year in which Soleimani became the leader of the Al-Quds Forces), since our knowledge and our relationship with Hajj Qassem began, that is to say for twenty years, 21 or 22 years, the number of times we have been to him (in Iran) is very limited. But for his part, he always came to us, very often. Of course, the very fact of coming to the field, to the battlefield, to meet the (Hezbollah) brothers here, to meet them all, to go directly to the field, to hear (directly) from the fighters and Mujahedeen, this has enormous benefits and advantages in terms of leadership and administration.

First, it strengthens these fighters (by giving them morale), and expresses the respect and affection he has for them. “It is I who always come to you, I am at your service. Do not bother to come to me in Iran, it is I who come to you.” For those in charge (of Hezbollah or other Resistance movements) on the ground (and for the fighters), (this attitude) has (huge) ethical and moral consequences. Second, it allows him to hear all opinions, all points of view (directly), not just the opinion of the people who would come to him (in Iran) to express their (own) point of view. This helps him to have a clearer, more global and fairer idea (of the reality on the ground). Third, it helps him to access all (hierarchical) levels, right down to the front line fighters, and to hear them talk about their problems, their shortcomings, their needs, their remarks, etc. Fourth, it gives him a deeper, more comprehensive, and broader idea of ​​(all) the battlefileds for which he is responsible. He does not rely (only) on reading the reports written by the (various high-level) officials, no! He goes into the field in person to see with his own eyes, to listen (to first hand information), and to discuss and debate with all levels. This is one of the meanings of the Way of Hajj Qassem. This is an unusual way of doing things, especially with a military general (among the highest ranking in Iran). Certainly, perhaps at the frontlines of the Iran-Iraq war, the great (Iranian) commanders came down to the ground, to the fighters, but it is something specific to Iran that is not done outside of Iran. But this is one aspect (of the Way of Hajj Qassem).

Another aspect is the absence of fatigue and lassitude. (In Iran), you say [Nasrallah cites a phrase in Persian]. He never gets tired. We are all prone to fatigue. Sometimes we feel that things are weighing very heavily on us, we are under great pressure (bordering on the unbearable), but the Hajj would work (tirelessly) for long hours, even when he must have been exhausted. I remember that during one of his visits (to Lebanon) he suffered from a very bad toothache, and (it is well known) that such pain is unbearable. We suggested to bring in a dentist, but he replied, “Not now, after our meeting.” That is, after 6 hours of going through the pain, while leading and attending the meeting, making (crucial) decisions, and only at the very end he would go to the dentist. The capacity for endurance and patience of Hajj Qassem in the face of fatigue and the most severe difficulties is quite exceptional. I have never known anyone, and I am by no means exaggerating, who can endure so much fatigue, straining, lack of sleep, etc., as much as Hajj Qassem.

Another important aspect of his personality is his thoroughness. He was extremely thorough and diligent. He was constantly following (the different files) [Nasrallah illustrates this point with an expression in Persian]. For example, someone can agree (on something) with someone else, then after a week, two or three, inquire about the issue or not, check it or not, but not the Hajj Qassem. From the second or third day, he would inquire about its progress, he would follow (all matters) precisely and insistently. And of course, he didn’t do it in a rushed (and sloppy) way, but in a precise, detailed and responsive way. This is one aspect of the Way of Hajj Qassem.

Journalist: Looks like he always kept the energy of a young man.

Hassan Nasrallah: Maybe another person would think that he will have plenty of time to follow up or inquire about this or that during the coming months, but not Hajj Qassem, (who followed the issues almost day to day). It was very important for him not to waste time. For example, what could be done in five years (for others) had to be completed in one or two years (with him), thanks to his insistence and his diligent follow-up of all matters.

Another aspect of his personality is his great humility. He was extremely humble. And his humility had a great influence. You know that in general soldiers, when in combat, feel strong and powerful, and can show arrogance, haughtiness, pride, etc. Hajj Qassem was a very humble person, even with the common people, the simple people. This is one aspect of his Way. Of course, we must all be humble, but the fact that this commander, with his position and this (enormous responsibility that weighs on him), is so humble with everyone, is something very important.

The Way of Hajj Qassem is that of facing dangers. He always went into the lion’s den, to the front lines, braving death. I didn’t agree with him on this point. I always insisted that he stay in the background, making arrangements for that. But we were all unable to stop him from going to the front lines. He is the man who is always present in the (most) difficult times, the (most) dark days, always putting himself in harm’s way. For example, during the July 2006 war, the 33-day war, he traveled from Tehran to Damascus, then contacted us to tell us that he wanted to come to us, in the southern suburbs of Beirut (Hezbollah stronghold). We replied (incredulously): “How? It’s impossible!” Bridges had been destroyed, roads cut, Israeli warplanes were hitting all targets (real or suspected) and so on. It was a situation of all-out war! It (seemed) impossible to bring him to us, in the southern suburbs of Beirut. But he insisted a lot, telling us that if we didn’t send him a car, he would come on his own. He insisted, and he came to us. And he stayed with us for the whole duration of the war.

See Qassem Soleimani’s Revelations on the 2006 war

Likewise for the events in Syria and Iraq, in the fight against ISIS, our Iraqi brothers also told us that he was always on the front line, walking on the front line. It’s something exceptional. Normally, generals stand back and lead armies or brigades (from the rear), at least in regular armies, with the exception of the Iran-Iraq war which is a special experience.

Anyway, in truth, all that can be said about the Way of Hajj Qassem comes from Imam Khomeini and his school, and from the indications of His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei), may God preserve him, and the experience of the Iran-Iraq war. It was a grandiose experience in terms of its ideological, cultural, spiritual and military consequences. We found this awe-inspiring experience embodied in the personality of Hajj Qassem.

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I could say a lot more about the Way of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, but I will content myself with these elements and answer your (other) questions. […]

Journalist: Can you tell us about common memories with him concerning the crisis in Iraq and Syria? What help has he asked from you?

Hassan Nasrallah: So we’re not talking about the latest developments in Iraq, (but) about the emergence of ISIS. When ISIS first appeared in Iraq, and this organization began to take over a number of Iraqi provinces, it turned out that the situation was critical. The Iraqi military was unable to cope with the situation, due (to its dismantling by the American occupier and) to the collapses that occurred. I have heard from several Iraqi officials that many weapons warehouses were empty of ammunition and shells. The moral and psychological situation (was catastrophic).

Hajj Qassem therefore visited Baghdad in person, accompanied by a group of Revolutionary Guard commanders. He made contact with the Iraqi brothers and with the factions of the Resistance with whom he had been in constant contact for a long time. He was the one who went on the field to (launch) the first counterattacks, he went ahead. And the well-known event on the Baghdad-Samarra road took place, in which Hajj Qassem Soleimani and other brothers present with them were nearly killed. A few days after this incident, or at the same time, Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sistani, may God preserve him, issued his famous and historic fatwa (enjoining Iraqis to wage jihad against ISIS), declaring a state of alert and urging the Iraqi people & warring factions to go massively to the front lines. But all this needed organization.

سردار سرلشکر قاسم سلیمانی به‌همراه ابومهدی المهندس در عراق به شهادت رسید/  حمله آمریکا به کاروان الحشد الشعبی در بغداد- اخبار نظامی | دف - اخبار سیاسی  تسنیم - Tasnim

At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places (5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shiism have their mausoleums in Iraq), our Hawzas (Islamic seminars), and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders (to supervise the Iraqi popular forces).” This is why in my speech (commemorating Soleimani’s assassination), I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport (to wait for Soleimani), and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in (immediately) from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed (battle-hardened) commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.

Of course, that night I felt that in Hajj Qassem’s eyes the whole world was Iraq and the battle that was going on there. In truth, he was completely immersed in this battle, and he regarded it as decisive for the fate of the region. It was not allowed to be neglected. He was ready to be killed there. I told him, “Hajj, the brothers informed me that on the road from Baghdad to Samarra, you were in the convoy (which was attacked), and it is very dangerous.” He replied that he had no other choice, and that he had to move forward for others to move forward as well. “Time is running out, and we only have a tiny window to step in,” he told me. Now was not the time for caution and balance, but we had to give everything we had (in this battle). He was very moved by what was going on in Iraq and ready to be killed there 1000 times in order to save the Iraqi people, the holy mausoleums, the Hawzas, and to remove this danger from Iraq, the Islamic Republic and all the region. We all know that if ISIS had succeeded in seizing Iraq, it would have threatened Iran and the whole region. But those who would have paid the greatest price for the ISIS project are the Iraqis, the Iraqi people in the first place.

Journalist: When did you meet Hajj Abu Mahdi (al-Muhandis, assassinated with Soleimani)? When did you first meet him? Can you recall any memories of this meeting?

Hassan Nasrallah: I got to know Hajj Abu Mahdi in the early 1990s, around 1991-1992. I did not know him before that date, as he was then in Kuwait. Then I got to know him, and the first time I met him was in Tehran. He was one of the main commanders of the Badr Brigades [Iraqi troops who fought against Saddam in the war against Iran], which later became the Badr Organization. Quickly, a relationship of affection, friendship and respect developed between us. He also had good relations with our brothers in Lebanon, with Brother (Sayed Badreddine) Zulfiqar in particular (Hezbollah commander killed in Syria in 2016), with Hajj Imad Moghniyeh and the other brothers. And subsequently, this relationship developed after Hajj Qassem became the commander of the al-Quds Forces. From his position (of responsibility) in Iraq, Abu Mahdi’s relationship with Hajj Qassem (developed), as well as ours in Lebanon, which increased the ties we had with Abu Mahdi.

But our relationship with Abu Mahdi has truly strengthened in recent years, due to the events in Iraq and the fight against ISIS which has seen many Hezbollah members travel to Iraq to help the Hachd al-Cha’bi (Popular Mobilization Units) and Resistance factions. Our brothers were in constant contact with Hajj Abu Mahdi, who came to Lebanon several times to meet me. Only 3 months before his martyrdom, he was here in Lebanon. Once he even came with his family. During our last meeting several months ago, we talked for hours, discussing the situation in Iraq, assessing the security and military issues, how to strengthen Hachd al-Cha’bi as a genuine defender of the Iraqi people, etc. And because of the strength of our brotherhood, he said to me: “Militarily, ISIS is defeated, and there remains only a few isolated cells that will be (quickly) eliminated with the grace of God. But I fear to be still alive when the battle against ISIS is (truly) over.” And he put his hand on his beard, saying, “My beard is gray, and so is my hair, and after all these long years (of struggle), I really fear dying in my bed. I therefore urge you to pray to God the Most High and Exalted to grant me martyrdom.”

Naturally, in accordance with the edicts of His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei), may God preserve him, when someone asks the Guide to pray for him to obtain martyrdom, he is not asking God to hasten his martyrdom, but asks Him to grant him to ultimately die as a martyr. And he sometimes jokes, “I hope you’re over 80 (when God grants you martyrdom)!” The important thing is that we die a martyr, (but as late as possible). This is what I replied to Abu Mahdi, namely that I would not invoke God to hasten his martyrdom, but for his death to be that of a martyr, and I asked him to pray to God so that He grants us the same fate (martyrdom) as well. This happened during our last meeting.

I also want to say that our (intimate) knowledge of Abu Mahdi allows us to say that he was a very sincere, very loyal, very pious man. He had a high sense of responsibility, and he was a Mujaheed in the truest sense of the word. And glory to God, he has many points in common with Hajj Qassem Soleimani. And that is one of the reasons for the exceptional relationship between them.

واکنش حشد شعبی به عکس با عنوان «جاسوسی» که مسیر حاج قاسم را لو داد+ عکس |  خبرگزاری بین المللی شفقنا

Journalist: The war in Iraq forced Hajj Qassem to be more present on the battlefield. In truth, he was going to all the sensitive places on the front lines. And we’ve seen him a number of times during (dangerous) reconnaissance and other operations. Weren’t these conditions a great risk for his life? He would appear by surprise in the midst of the fighting. Why?

Hassan Nasrallah: He was always in danger, in great danger. On the front lines and on the battlefields he visited in Iraq and also in Syria, he was in constant danger. And he refused to be present only in the rear. He was going to the front line, and wanted to see things with his own eyes to assess the situation directly and first hand, and interact with the fighters on the front line. He wanted to meet them and be among them. That was his way. Of course, we blamed him constantly for that.

(It must be understood) that he was not doing this only because he longed for martyrdom. Some said that Hajj Qassem (only) sought martyrdom and sought the opportunity to be killed, and that this explained his presence on the front lines. This is not true, or at least it is not precise. For he also knew that he had a religious obligation, and that he had no right to expose himself to death unnecessarily. No! Hajj Qassem had a vision, which was true to a great extent: he said that this battle in Iraq and Syria required great endurance, great courage, perseverance on the battlefield. This could not be achieved by management from the rear, far from the front lines. The presence of a commander of a level like Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s on the front lines was of utmost importance to ensure this steadfastness of morale, souls and hearts. His very presence on such a front was enough to give enormous strength & morale to the combatants, helping them to stay, to persevere, to endure, despite all the dangers and all the difficulties they faced. Not to mention all the other benefits a commander can get from being as close as possible to field data.

But I consider, and this is what I heard him say when I debated this issue with him, that the moral, psychological and emotional aspect was of the utmost importance to him. And it’s the truth! You can see from the (countless) videos how he behaved with the young (fighters) on the front lines, in the trenches, (and how they reacted) when Hajj Qassem came to them. They embrace him, kiss his hand, cry, hug him, reproach him for coming to them (thus exposing himself to death), etc. This emotional influence is very important. This is why a (real) relationship of love, affection, passion was born and shaped between the fighters and Hajj Qassem Soleimani. This would never have happened if he was managing operations from behind. The cause of this great love for him is his direct & constant presence on the front lines.

Also, when all these videos and photos started showing up in the media and on social media, I told him about it, saying, “O Hajj, this is something very dangerous!” But he wasn’t doing it on purpose. When he went to the front line, he didn’t have cameras with him, but it was the (fighters) present there who filmed him, because as you know, they all have smartphones with which they photographed or filmed the Hajj and posted the images on social media. (When I reproached him for this), he replied “But these young (combatants) are on the front line, ready to sacrifice themselves, risking their lives at every moment. I dare not tell them to put these phones away or forbid them to film me because it puts me in danger.” That’s why he just let them do it. And in truth, the first images and videos of Hajj Qassem to be released were not broadcast by him or by the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) forces, but by the frontline fighters who filmed and photographed his visits and his presence among them and then put the images online. And that’s how these images spread on social media. There was no other choice. Because he would have felt ashamed to forbid these young fighters from filming him on the pretext that it would put him in danger, when they themselves were the most exposed to death. This is the real reason for Hajj Qassem’s presence in the media in recent years, which was by no means a deliberate act.

soleimani muhandis

Journalist: After the defeat of the Daeshi and Takfiri project in Iraq and Syria, did you meet Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis together?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, the three of us met. This photo [cf. above] was taken in Lebanon in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The brothers made a montage (including all the martyrs killed alongside Soleimani and al-Muhandis), but in the original photo they are sitting on a couch in my office.

nasrallah montage

We were together. And there are also pictures of the three of us together, me, Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi.

نصرالله: هذا ما طلبه مني سليماني بعد سقوط الموصل وهكذا تأكدت من اغتياله مع  المهندس

We had a long meeting whose objective was to assess the latest events in Iraq, what we (Hezbollah) could do to help it in the next step, and on the other hand, in case a Israeli war against Lebanon or against the region would be triggered, we discussed what our Iraqi brothers could do to help us fight this war.

Hassan Nasrallah: I consider that one of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon me in my life, and His blessings for me were many and great, has been my relation and closeness with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and this (very strong) friendship and brotherhood between us. What was between us was as strong as if we were really two brothers (from the same mother), whether it was the affection, love, feelings and friendship that bound us.

Likewise, we had the same way of thinking. We thought and saw things the same way, 98% of the time, if not 100%. But even for the 2% of topics where we might have different points of view, one of us could easily convince the other, due to the tremendous trust and love that there was between us.

Of course, on a personal level, the presence of Hajj Qassem was a huge support for me, as I am here on one of the battlefields and confrontations. I always longed for his company, and so did he. And I can tell you and the viewers that for the last 20 years, and especially the last 10 years and more, he’s been one of my closest brothers. If I want to mention a friend who is dear and precious to me, whom I love very much, who occupies a very important place in my heart and whose company I earnestly wish, in whom I have the greatest confidence, and whose presence gives me the most pleasure, I will immediately think of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

In every person’s life, there are usually two or three people who are considered the closest friends. And as far as I’m concerned, one of them was Hajj Qassem Soleimani. May God have mercy on him.

nasrallah soleimani d

And personally, he knows (what he means to me). One day, I told him. I was always ready to sacrifice my life for him. One day, while we were praying together, after prayer, during invocations (following prayers), the following idea occurred to me: I imagined (this is only a hypothesis) that The Angel of Death came to me, and told me that he was going to Iran to take the soul of Qassem Soleimani. But God had made an exception this time. The Angel of Death told me that God had asked him to come see me first, and offer me an alternative (to the death of Qassem Soleimani). Instead, the Angel could take my soul. (I could die instead and save Soleimani). I wondered what I would have answered to this hypothetical proposition from the Angel of Death. Without any hesitation, I would tell him to take my life, and leave Hajj Qassem Soleimani (alive).

See the Testament of Martyr Major-General Qasem Soleimani

Later, I mentioned this to some (Hezbollah) brothers when we were debating. Because sometimes, due to the overload of work and responsibilities, some arguments can arise between us, and I told them that so that they understand what Hajj Qassem meant in my eyes.

Le baiser de la mort: photos inédites de Soleimani et Nasrallah | Coolamnews

One of the brothers was indignant, asking me how I could think of such a thing (sacrificing myself for Qassem Soleimani). I told him that this was due to two things: first, the immense love and affection I had for him, and the brotherhood that bound us; and second, the fact that I consider his existence to be much more useful to us, to Islam, Muslims, the (Arab-Muslim) Nation and Resistance (Axis) than mine. It is not just affection, but my highest consideration for the importance of this man and his blessed presence.

That’s what he meant to me personally.

Journalist: We thank you very much (for your time). We wish you all the best. With the Grace of God, we will witness the Liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) soon, thanks to your leadership and that of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Khamenei). We wish you and all Resistance fighters health and salvation.

Hassan Nasrallah: May God grant you His blessings. May God preserve you and grant you His blessings. Anyway, I publicly declared and told his family that what happened to Hajj Qassem is the best thing that could have happened to him, and his greatest hope, has happened to him, namely this grandiose martyrdom.

May God have mercy on him.

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U.S., ISIS ‘brothers in arms,’ Iran says

January 2, 2021 – 20:0

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has accused the U.S. government of supporting the ISIS terrorist group, describing the U.S. and ISIS as “brothers in arms.”

“It’s a well-documented fact, which’s been admitted by Trump, that U.S. has had a crucial role in the rise of terrorism in our region, from AQ to ISIS. Not surprising that the US assassination of General Soleimani was cheered by ISIS: brothers in arms,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a tweet on Saturday.

The foreign ministry also posted a video showing Trump addresses a campaign rally in which he says that former U.S. Secretary of State “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama.” The video also shows that the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani was an “anti-terrorism champion” whose assassination only benefited the ISIS terrorist group.

This week marks the first anniversary of the assassination of the top Iranian general last year. General Soleimani was assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3, 2020, along with his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), near Baghdad’s international airport. The strike was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, a reckless move that brought Iran and the United States close to an all-out war as General Soleimani was an influential figure in Iran and beyond. In response, Iran showered a U.S. airbase in western Iran with missiles, causing brain injury among dozens of American servicemen.

Earlier on Friday, the Iranian foreign ministry republished an assessment by Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, on the assassination of General Soleimani saying that the U.S. strike against the general was a blatant violation of international law.

According to Callamard, the strike was clearly a strike against the armed forces of another state and it was a use of force against Iraq and a violation of its sovereignty. Callamard noted that the strike also was in violation of the UN charter.

The Iranian foreign ministry also said that the strike was against international law.

“By committing a craven act of terror against Gen Soleimani, the US violated int’l law & the UN Charter in a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The US’ lawlessness in full show. Iran won’t rest until bringing those responsible to justice,” tweeted the foreign ministry.

Iran has long warned that it will take revenge against the U.S. for assassinating the commander of the Quds Force. Iran has recently said that some people inside the U.S. may move to avenge the assassination.

“By committing this crime, you [the U.S.] created a job for all freedom-seeking people across the globe. Be sure that it is possible that some people will be found inside your home to respond to your crime,” General Soleimani’s successor Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani said on Friday. “Those who committed this crime should know that throughout the world there would be a man who will punish the cowards behind this crime.”

Iran also said that it will work to expel the U.S. from the region.

RELATED NEWS

Iranian President’s Chief of Staff to Al-Ahed: Soleimani’s Martyrdom Broke His Killers’ Backbone

Iranian President’s Chief of Staff to Al-Ahed: Soleimani’s Martyrdom Broke His Killers’ Backbone

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – On the occasion of the first martyrdom anniversary of General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Al-Ahed News spoke with Dr. Mahmoud Vaezi, the Chief of Staff of Iran’s President.

Dr. Vaezi asserted that this martyrdom “broke the backbone and domination of his fake and weak killers.”

“The Trump administration viewed commander Soleimani as a major obstacle to its subversive and escalatory policies in the region, and that is why it assassinated him in this shameful and criminal way.”

In his interview with Al-Ahed, Vaezi pointed out that “the main response to this crime is the full withdrawal of the US from the region. Our basic strategy in the region, which we always made known to neighboring states, is for those countries to ensure security for this region and confront foreign interference. The Hormuz peace plan announced by President Rouhani at the United Nations remains on the table, and we believe that it will be achieved with the help of regional states. We believe that through regional cooperation we can establish peace and stability, and there is no need for foreigners to be present in the region.”

Below is the full transcript of the interview:

On the first martyrdom anniversary of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his companions, the US claims that it has broken Iran’s backbone. What is your response?

In our Islamic teachings, we believe that the blood of the martyr is a stain on the oppressors. During his lifetime, martyr General Soleimani was the source of great deeds for the country, the Axis of Resistance, and the region. His martyrdom led to rapprochement and solidarity between the peoples of the region against America.

In fact, we believe that his martyrdom broke the backbone and dominance of his fake and weak killers. When a country that claims to be a superpower in the world assassinates our military commander in such a treacherous and cowardice manner during an official diplomatic tour, it means that first, you were not a worthy opponent, and second, you are against his legacy.

The legacy of martyr Soleimani is clearly evident today, not only in the region, but in the whole world, especially since he was the first enemy of the terrorists who turned the world into an insecure place. There were many terrorist incidents carried out by Daesh in the West, including Brussels, London, Manchester, and other European cities. The defeat of Daesh is the best evidence that martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani made the region and the world safer. 

Martyr General Qassem Soleimani poured all his energy into confronting American conspiracies. How did he achieve this success and manage to counter America’s arrogant mood?

The greatest proof of the success of this great martyr in confronting arrogant American plots and thwarting its plans in the region, is his assassination by the Trump administration. It is clear that the Trump administration considered him a major obstacle to its subversive and escalatory policies in the region, which is why they assassinated him in this shameful and criminal way.

Martyr Soleimani sought to eliminate terrorism in the region. This great martyr was able to form a strong regional alliance against criminal terrorists in Iraq and Syria, and he helped the peoples of the region during difficult days in confronting Daesh and other terrorist groups.

Hajj Qassem was not only a man from the battlefield, but he was also a seasoned diplomat who combined courage and wisdom. His courage was rooted in his faith and belief. His wisdom was rooted in the knowledge and experience he had acquired during decades of pursuing the path of God.

His unique role was personified through his fight against terrorism, taking into consideration and with full respect for the national sovereignty of the countries concerned. So, based on an official request from the governments of Iraq and Syria, he helped them confront terrorism. This is why he was very popular in the countries of the region. Lieutenant General Soleimani is the pride of Iran, but we do not consider that he belongs to us alone. His departure was a tragedy for all Muslims. Even outside the Islamic world, he served humanity, regardless of nationality, religion, or ethnicity, by playing a major role in defeating Daesh and creating security and stability.

After Hajj Qassem’s martyrdom, Imam Khamenei declared that the main goal was to get US forces out of West Asia. A year after his martyrdom, what is America’s influence in the region?

This is not only a statement by the great leader of the revolution, but we believe it is a divine promise. As I said, we believe that the blood of the martyr is a stain on the oppressors and a starting point for their demise, as America’s power has declined today in the world and not only in West Asia. There are numerous clues that are being unveiled if we had time to delve into this topic. In our region, the influence and status of America has declined more than ever, and the martyrdom of Soleimani must have played an important role in this process.

How will the response to this crime be completed, especially since there is an emphasis on the need for an American withdrawal from the region?

In terms of the military response, you definitely know that the Islamic Republic of Iran poured missiles down on the American base involved in the assassination of martyr Soleimani. This targeted attack sent a clear message to the Americans that attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran and crossing its red lines will certainly not pass without a response.

However, as mentioned earlier, we view the main response to this crime as paving the way for a complete US withdrawal from the region. Our basic strategy in the region, which we always made known to neighboring states, is for those countries to ensure security for this region and confront foreign interference. The Hormuz peace plan announced by President Rouhani at the United Nations remains on the table, and we believe that it will be achieved with the help of regional states. We believe that through regional cooperation, we can establish peace and stability, and there is no need for foreigners to be present in the region. The presence of foreigners in the region has so far caused nothing but destruction and wars. We have always adopted this strategy, and after the martyrdom of Soleimani, we became more determined to achieve it.

What was martyr Soleimani’s role in confronting terrorism and in supporting and consolidating the axis of resistance?

His role in combating terrorism and supporting the peoples of the region in confronting terrorist groups was very clear. When the terrorists occupied two-thirds of Syrian territory, the siege they imposed was so severe that we witnessed bombings and terrorist operations near Damascus and near Syrian government institutions. The situation in Iraq was very similar to that of Syria, where Daesh occupied most of the country, and the level of insecurity peaked.

The images of the crimes committed by terrorists in these two countries, and of course in other parts of the world, have not yet been erased from the memory of the countries of the region. Whoever wants to realize the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran and martyr Qassem Soleimani in the region, must compare the images during those days when terrorism dominated the region with the situation today. The defeat of Daesh was the peak of the resistance in the region, and this would not have been possible without martyr General Soleimani and his field command.

On the martyrdom anniversary of Hajj Qassem, I would like to mention his comrade, the great martyr and Mujahid Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, one of the most prominent symbols of the resistance and one of the main leaders in the war against terrorism in Iraq. His name will remain immortal throughout history.

By assassinating Hajj Qassem, did America manage to stop his march or has the axis of resistance become stronger?

Martyr Soleimani’s path was that of resistance, facing arrogance, and jihad for the sake of God. Our religion taught us that this path does not stop at martyrdom. In Islam, we do not believe that martyrdom is a conclusion or an end, for martyrdom makes the path to the truth stronger, more dynamic, and higher. Although Hajj Qassem Soleimani was a hero in fighting terrorism and opposing arrogance, his martyrdom does not mean weakening the axis of resistance. Ironically, thanks to his pure blood, the peoples of the region woke up today, and the axis of resistance has become stronger than ever.

What was Hajj Qassem’s relationship and cooperation with the government of Iran like?

Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif provided a complete overview of this, which was recently published in various media outlets. It should be noted that in matters related to national security, national interests, and strategic issues such as foreign policy and regional policies, there was complete complementarity between all pillars of the Islamic Republic.

Martyr Soleimani’s operational range was one of those cases around which there was and still is a complete rapprochement in our country. In the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have always considered diplomacy and defensive force as the two main wings of the country, and we have never separated these two wings or allowed either of them to weaken.

Accordingly, commander Soleimani had a very close relationship with the government of the Islamic Republic and the president himself.

Regarding foreign policy issues, regular weekly meetings were held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This rapprochement and coordination were not based on individuals alone, but it is a ruling strategy in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

General Soleimani’s military acumen in fighting terrorists was ‘unmatched’, says American professor

Source

January 2, 2021 – 19:51

TEHRAN – Nader Entessar, a professor emeritus of political science from the University of South Alabama, praises General Qassem Soleimani’s shrewdness in devising asymmetrical “warfare strategies” against terrorists, calling his abilities “unmatched”.

“His military acumen, ability to devise asymmetrical anti-terrorism warfare strategies, and bringing together unruly groups to work together were unmatched,” Entessar tells the Tehran Times.

“The United States has now ‘weaponized’ the term (terrorism) in pursuit of its foreign policy goals.  That is, practically any person, institution, or country that actively opposes Washington’s global hegemony is labeled as a “terrorist” thus making it difficult to tackle the problem of terrorism in a meaningful way.”The professor also says Iran has been at the “forefront” of the war against Daesh and other terrorist groups to protect its security.

“In general, Iran has been at the forefront of fighting regional terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and others that carry terrorist acts against Iran’s security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” the American professor notes.   

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In 1972, a specialized Committee on Terrorism was set up at the United Nations, and member states made great efforts to provide appropriate definitions of international terrorism, but due to intense political differences, the actual definition of international terrorism and comprehensive conventions in practice was impossible. Security Council Resolution 1373 was the most serious attempt to define terrorism after 9/11, which evolved into UN Security Council Resolution 1535. Despite providing a definition of terrorism, countries approach it differently. What is the reason?

A: The definition of the term “terrorism” provided by the UN is a minimalist one designed to satisfy conflicting views on this topic.  Terrorism is first and foremost a political term that does to easily lend itself to a universally accepted legal definition.  One country’s “terrorist” can be viewed as a “freedom fighter” by another country.  Furthermore, the United States has now “weaponized” the term in pursuit of its foreign policy goals.  That is, practically any person, institution, or country that actively opposes Washington’s global hegemony is labeled as a “terrorist” thus making it difficult to tackle the problem of terrorism in a meaningful way.   

Q: How do you assess the role and position of Iran in the fight against terrorism in the region?

A: In general, Iran has been at the forefront of fighting regional terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and others that carry terrorist acts against Iran’s security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.  However, as attacks against major institutions/infrastructures and the assassination of some prominent Iranian officials in recent years have shown, a lot of work needs to be done to thwart similar foreign-assisted and foreign-funded terrorist acts.  It has now become clear that Iran’s enemies have taken advantage of existing vulnerabilities and holes to carry out their terrorist acts against the country.  I am not sure exactly where the problem lies, but Iran needs to seriously re-evaluate its counterterrorism, intelligence, and counterintelligence structures. 

“In general, Iran has been at the forefront of fighting regional terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and others that carry terrorist acts against Iran’s security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”Q: How do you assess the role and position of General Soleimani in the fight against terrorism, particularly ISIS, in the region?

A: General Soleimani’s focus was primarily on fighting anti-Iran terrorism in the region.  This was clearly evident in General Soleimani’s indispensable role in creating the necessary environment and conditions in containing and fighting Daesh (ISIS). General Soleimani’s role as perhaps the single most important person in fighting anti-Iran terrorist groups should be emphasized.  His military acumen, ability to devise asymmetrical anti-terrorism warfare strategies, and bringing together unruly groups to work together were unmatched.  

Q: Given the conflict of interests of different countries, can we see the same action by countries against terrorism? What mechanism can equalize the performance of countries against terrorism?

A: As I alluded in my answer to the first question, getting countries to see eye-to-eye when it comes to combating terrorism is akin to forcing a square peg in a round hole.  Perhaps in a very broad definitional term, countries can agree on fighting terrorism, but in practical terms, it is a herculean task to expect countries to work together on this issue.  Terrorism has already become weaponized, and countries will continue to rely on this weapon to confront and contain each other in today’s polarized world of international relations.

Hezbollah on Suleimani’s 1st Martyrdom Anniversary: We’ll Raise Resistance Flag in Al-Quds

أنبكيك؟ وهل نحن إلا أنت؟ - haramoon.com
طريق القدس

January 1, 2021

On the first martyrdom anniversary of Suleimani and Al-Muhandis, Sayyed Safieddine said the Axis of Resistance became after the assassination of the two top commanders more determined to liberate the region form the US occupation.

“The Resistance is more determined to take the path of Jihad and confronting the US schemes,” the prominent Hezbollah official addressed the attendees at Tehran University.

“We will liberate the region from all these devils. We will raise the Resistance flag in Al-Quds.”

Sayyed Safieddine lashed out at US president Donald Trump by saying: “We will take revenge from the US. Trump, who imagine that he would undermine the Axis of Resistance by assassinating martyr Suleimani will meet a destiny like that met by Saddam Hussein.”

“When ISIL appeared, with its flagrant atrocities, the entire world was astonished and helpless. Only commanders Suleimani and Al-Muhandis stood firm against the terrorist group and save the nation.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

غزة تحي ذكرى الشهيد القائد قاسم سليماني (شهيد القدس) - صور | وكالة أنباء  التقريب (TNA)

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Breaking: Terrorists Murder 25 on Bus on Deir Ezzor Highway

 MIRI WOOD 

Terrorists murdered 25 Syrians and wounded 13 others on a bus in Deir Ezzor on Wednesday. The bus was traveling along the Deir Ezzor – Palmyra Highway in Kabajeb when the attack occurred around 4 p.m., Damascene time. At this writing, no details other details have been released.

Some of the victims were soldiers returning home to start their long-awaited vacation and were in military uniforms as most of the Syrians do not have the luxury of having more suits to change after 10 years of fighting the world’s largest army of terrorists and their NATO sponsors.

Donald Trump maintains a large number of his forces from the Oil Thieves Regiment of the US Army and for their protection, the Pentagon employs a large number of terrorists, mainly of ISIS and its affiliates, and separatists like the Kurdish SDF armed groups. This attack seems to be carried out by one of those Pentagon assets operating illegally in Syria to prolong the suffering of the Syrian people since Syria never invaded any other country and it’s punished for that.

At this writing, the NATO stenographer klan have gone absolutely silent over this mass murder; use of internet search engines result in not even a blurb, and barely a mention of Israel’s early morning war criminal bombing of the Levantine Republic in which one Syrian Arab Army soldier was martyred, and three others wounded.

Deir Ezzor is the part of Syria that contains oil fields, oil fields occupied by Trump forces, and of which the besieged US president has bragged about stealing. His cretinous cannon fodder SDF — created under Obama — which would collapse without US troops, pathetically believe they are the deal makers in the theft of Syria’s oil.

As the overpaid stenographers — indictable under Nuremberg Principle VI, as war criminal propagandists are included in crimes against humanity — have chosen to turn a blind eye from the massacre (possibly because they were not made aware that vacationing soldiers are among the slaughtered), we will use this grizzly opportunity to remind Syria News readers and other civilized human beings the atrocities committed against the SAR, since NATO Spring was inflicted in March 2011.

Please take a closer look at this map:

Google & NATO stenographers insist on erasing history. There is no such place as "Kobane" in Syria. That was the name of the German company that built the station in Ain al Arab, in 1911.
Google & NATO stenographers insist on erasing history. There is no such place as “Kobane” in Syria. That was the name of the German company that built the station in Ain al Arab, in 1911.

Palmyra/Tadmor is in the lower-left corner. It is where Syrian archaeologist, Professor Khaled al Asaad was brutally murdered on 18 August 2015. Toward the center is al Raqqah, the site of Trump’s first war crimes in Syria, when he bombed two civilian bridges there, soon after being sworn in. Between ar Raqqah and Lake Assad is the Tabqa hydroelectric dam. Al Tabqa has been under NATO proxy control since February 2013.

UK, US Holding Tabqa Dam Hostage in Syrian Negotiations?

English terrorist, John Letts, near Syria’s Tabqa Dam.

Note al Hol (“al Hawl”) in the upper right area of the map, near the border with Iraq. Al Hol is the concentration camp run by the Trump forces’ SDF cannon fodder. It houses various foreign savages, such as Brit illegal Shamima Begum; though it is in Syria, it took the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent more than three years of insane negotiations to extricate the kidnapped Italian-Albanian boy, Alvin, and repatriate him with his father.

The al Hol concentration camp is within the al Hasakah governate. In October 2019, Madman Erdogan bombed the electrical power grid there and bombed it again after the Syrian Electricity Army repaired it, and after it was again repaired, the NATO Madman invaded and his illicit troops have occupied the Allouk Water Plant, since — turning the water off and on, and depriving upwards of one million Syrians of their essential water source.

Today, Wednesday 30 December, twenty-five Syrians were massacred while traveling on a bus in Deir Ezzor.

— Miri Wood

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Al-Ahed Learns about Martyr Soleimani’s Servitude & Loyalty to His Parents

Al-Ahed Learns about Martyr Soleimani’s Servitude & Loyalty to His Parents

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – On the first martyrdom anniversary of the late Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Al-Ahed News sat down with a man who accompanied him on the path of jihad for more than three decades. Hujjat al-Islam wal Muslimin Sheikh Ali Shirazi is the representative of Imam Khamenei to the Thar Allah HQ and his former representative to the Quds Force.

He told us about his relationship and memories with martyr Soleimani. Below is the transcript of the interview:

– You have a relationship that binds you to the martyred leader. How was the first meeting with him? What were the most prominent features of his personality?

My relationship with the martyr goes back to 1982, before Operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas, and it lasted until the moment of his martyrdom. The most important feature in Major General Soleimani’s personality was that he never thought of himself at any time or place, whether in private or public meetings. I never heard him say that he was the reason for the victory in Iraq, Syria, or Lebanon against terrorism. He never spoke in such a manner. He was a sincere man in every sense of the word.

– We saw a video clip in which you were talking about Hajj Qassem and a book on ethics written by His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Mesbah Yazdi. It was remarkable how Your Eminence spoke about the martyr’s service to his parents and its impact. Can you elaborate further?

Providing and caring for one’s father and mother are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an along with the worship of God Almighty, and this indicates the great importance of the father and the mother.

Lieutenant General Soleimani was always striving to implement the teachings of religion in his life, and this involved taking care of his mother and father. Although the martyr was busy, I used to see him return from his mission on Thursday and head on the same night from Tehran to Kerman and from Kerman to his village, Qanat Malak, which is two and a half hours away from Kerman. He’d reach there on Friday morning, serve his parents, and head back to Kerman then to Tehran Friday evening. He’d take advantage of opportunities to serve his parents, and he never said, “I am tired”, especially since he worked day and night and traveled a lot. So, whenever he returned to Iran, he never forgot to tend to his parents and family. He was in their service, kissing their hands and feet. He never said, “I am a commander, a brigadier, and the commander of the Quds Force.” On the contrary, he was a servant to his parents.

I consider that his loyalty and service to his parents was the reason for Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s advancement. When Hajj Qassem’s mother died, he was not in Iran. When he arrived at the airport, Brigadier General Ghaani and I met him. He was not yet informed with the news. When I broke the news of her departure, he told me that he was proud that on his last visit he was able to kiss her feet … He was proud of that. This is how this great leader in the Islamic world behaved towards his parents.

– In many of the clips, Hajj Qassem was always talking about the certainty of goodness. How did you see that in his behavior?

Martyr Soleimani never lost hope. During the stage of the holy defense in the southeast of the country, in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, even on the issue of Palestine, and in all stages, he never said that “the matter is beyond our ability” or “we cannot” or “the enemy is strong” or “we cannot win.” Rather, he always had hope and gave it to others, and that’s an important leadership component. Three months before the defeat of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Syria, Hajj Qassem clearly announced that the terrorist organization would leave and that within three months the mythical Daesh ‘state’ would withdraw. And this happened. This is due to his divine vision and his dependence on God Almighty.

Those who took Soleimani as a role model should also take his hope, his fight against the enemy, his courage, and his jihadist spirit as a model.

– The young men [fighters] were the pulse of Hajj Qassem, and he used to pay special attention to them. What was his most important advice to them?

Martyr Soleimani loved the youth and had absolute confidence in them. During the period of the sacred defense, he would hand over the leadership to them. In Syria, who received leadership duties? The two martyrs, Sadr Zadeh and Qumi, were among those young men. They were among the leaders of the war against terrorism in Syria and Iraq.

Martyr Soleimani supported them and considered himself one of them. They adored him as well, and he used to follow up on matters related to them and solve their problems.

When Hajj Qassem was martyred, some of these dear young men, especially the sons of the martyrs, contacted me and told me that we did not cry for the loss of our fathers the way we cried and were affected by martyr Soleimani’s martyrdom.

I saw in Tehran and Kerman that young people come from all over the country to participate in the funeral procession of the martyr, and they showed this love in the ceremony. We also saw millions taking part in the funeral ceremonies, which proves his good faith and hope in the youth.

– How did Hajj Qassem impact you personally?

I was not a good student of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. In all stages of his life, the martyr was our mentor, and we sought to make him our role model. We are now trying to follow in his footsteps. The martyr used to constantly visit the families of the martyrs, and if we could do something for the families of the martyrs, especially the martyrs of the sacred defense, then we would be like students in martyr Soleimani’s school.

Zeinab Qassem Soleimani Describes Her Father: The ‘Conqueror of Hearts’

Zeinab Qassem Soleimani Describes Her Father: The ‘Conqueror of Hearts’

By Staff, Agencies

The daughter of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was martyred in a US assassination drone strike earlier in the year, hailed her father as the “conqueror of hearts” and a highly charismatic filed commander.

Zeinab Soleimani said in an exclusive interview with Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television network on Tuesday that what distinguished her father was that he was a “strong military field commander with very strong charisma, clever … and besides that he had a remarkably compassionate and affectionate heart as well.”

Zeinab said the top commander “used to capture the hearts of people,” and that, “My father used to find his way through people’s hearts, especially those who worked with them and those close to him.”

General Soleimani’s daughter underlined that her father’s field presence alongside other military forces was the result of his “belief in the necessity of standing by the oppressed.”

“He did not differentiate between the Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Palestinian or Yemeni people. Any aggression against people, their money and their honor was a red line for him,” Zeinab told al-Mayadeen television network.

She also said that the issue of Palestine and the Palestinian people was “very important” to General Soleimani, and stressed that, “he used all his capabilities to serve the Palestinian cause and the result is that we see today the strength of the Palestinian resistance movement.”

Zeinab concluded that those behind the brutal assassination of General Soleimani would pay the price “in the most horrific possible way.”

The US military assassinated General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and their companions by targeting their vehicle outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

The cowardly act of terror was carried out under the direction of US President Donald Trump, with the Pentagon taking responsibility for the strike.

A senior Iranian official said on Sunday that the Islamic Republic has drawn up a list of 48 individuals against whom legal action will be taken in relation to the assassination of General Soleimani.

Both martyred commanders were viewed by the world’s freedom-seeking people as heroes who risked their lives taking on Daesh, the world’s most notorious terrorist group, on the battlefield. They played a key part in defeating the terror outfit.

Several million people attended the funeral processions held for the commanders in the Iraqi cities of Kadhimiya, Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf as well as the Iranian cities of Ahvaz, Mashhad, Tehran, Qom and Kerman.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei warned soon after the atrocity about a pending “harsh revenge” for the brutal assassination.

The IRG fired volleys of ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq on January 8. According to the US War Department, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrikes. The IRG, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans who perished during the retaliation.

Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.

Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq after the two senior commanders were assassinated in Baghdad, with Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passing a bill on January 5 that mandated the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.

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Turkey pivots to the center of The New Great Game

Turkey pivots to the center of The New Great Game

December 28, 2020

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

When it comes to sowing – and profiting – from division, Erdogan’s Turkey is quite the superstar.

Under the delightfully named Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Trump administration duly slapped sanctions on Ankara for daring to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems. The sanctions focused on Turkey’s defence procurement agency, the SSB.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s response was swift: Ankara won’t back down – and it is in fact mulling how to respond.

The European poodles inevitably had to provide the follow-up. So after the proverbial, interminable debate in Brussels, they settled for “limited” sanctions – adding a further list for a summit in March 2021. Yet these sanctions actually focus on as-yet unidentified individuals involved in offshore drilling in Cyprus and Greece. They have nothing to do with S-400s.

What the EU has come up with is in fact a very ambitious, global human-rights sanctions regime modeled after the US’s Magnitsky Act. That implies travel bans and asset freezes of people unilaterally considered responsible for genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings and crimes against humanity.

Turkey, in this case, is just a guinea pig. The EU always hesitates mightily when it comes to sanctioning a NATO member. What the Eurocrats in Brussels really want is an extra, powerful tool to harass mostly China and Russia.

Our jihadis, sorry, “moderate rebels”

What’s fascinating is that Ankara under Erdogan always seems to be exhibiting a sort of “devil may care” attitude.

Take the seemingly insoluble situation in the Idlib cauldron in northwest Syria. Jabhat al-Nusra – a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria – honchos are now involved in “secret” negotiations with Turkish-backed armed gangs, such as Ahrar al-Sharqiya, right in front of Turkish officials. The objective: to boost the number of jihadis concentrated in certain key areas. The bottom line: a large number of these will come from Jabhat al-Nusra.

So Ankara for all practical purposes remains fully behind hardcore jihadis in northwest Syria – disguised under the “innocent” brand Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Ankara has absolutely no interest in letting these people disappear. Moscow, of course, is fully aware of these shenanigans, but wily Kremlin and Defence Ministry strategists prefer to let it roll for the time being, assuming the Astana process shared by Russia, Iran and Turkey can be somewhat fruitful.

Erdogan, at the same time, masterfully plays the impression that he’s totally involved in pivoting towards Moscow. He’s effusive that “his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin” supports the idea – initially tabled by Azerbaijan – of a regional security platform uniting Russia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Erdogan even said that if Yerevan is part of this mechanism, “a new page may be opened” in so far intractable Turkey-Armenia relations.

It will help, of course, that even under Putin pre-eminence, Erdogan will have a very important seat at the table of this putative security organization.

The Big Picture is even more fascinating – because it lays out various aspects of Putin’s Eurasia balancing strategy, which involves as main players Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.

On the eve of the first anniversary of the assassination of Gen Soleimani, Tehran is far from cowed and “isolated”. For all practical purposes, it is slowly but surely forcing the US out of Iraq. Iran’s diplomatic and military links to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon remain solid.

And with less US troops in Afghanistan, the fact is Iran for the first time since the “axis of evil” era will be less surrounded by the Pentagon. Both Russia and China – the key nodes of Eurasia integration – fully approve it.

Of course the Iranian rial has collapsed against the US dollar, and oil income has fallen from over $100 billion a year to something like $7 billion. But non-oil exports are going well over $30 billion a year.

All is about to change for the better. Iran is building an ultra-strategic pipeline from the eastern part of the Persian Gulf to the port of Jask in the Gulf of Oman – bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, and ready to export up to 1 million barrels of oil a day. China will be the top customer.

President Rouhani said the pipeline will be ready by the summer of 2021, adding that Iran plans to be selling over 2.3 million barrels of oil a day next year – with or without US sanctions alleviated by Biden-Harris.

Watch the Golden Ring

Iran is well linked to Turkey to the west and Central Asia to the east. An extra important element in the chessboard is the entrance of freight trains directly linking Turkey to China via Central Asia -bypassing Russia.

Earlier this month, the first freight train left Istanbul for a 8,693 km, 12-day trip, crossing below the Bosphorus via the brand new Marmary tunnel, inaugurated a year ago, then along the East-West Middle Corridor via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, across Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

In Turkey this is known as the Silk Railway. It was the BTK that reduced freight transport from Turkey to China from one month to only 12 days. The whole route from East Asia to Western Europe can now be travelled in only 18 days. BTK is the key node of the so-called Middle Corridor from Beijing to London and the Iron Silk Road from Kazakhstan to Turkey.

All of the above totally fits the EU’s agenda – especially Germany’s: implementing a strategic trade corridor linking the EU to China, bypassing Russia.

This would eventually lead to one of the key alliances to be consolidated in the Raging Twenties: Berlin-Beijing.

To speed up this putative alliance, the talk in Brussels is that Eurocrats would profit from Turkmen nationalism, pan-Turkism and the recent entente cordiale between Erdogan and Xi when it comes to the Uighurs. But there’s a problem: many a turcophone tribe prefers an alliance with Russia.

Moreover, Russia is inescapable when it comes to other corridors. Take, for instance, a flow of Japanese goods going to Vladivostok and then via the Trans-Siberian to Moscow and onwards to the EU.

The bypass-Russia EU strategy was not exactly a hit in Armenia-Azerbaijan: what we had was a relative Turkey retreat and a de facto Russian victory, with Moscow reinforcing its military position in the Caucasus.

Enter an even more interesting gambit: the Azerbaijan-Pakistan strategic partnership, now on overdrive in trade, defence, energy, science and technology, and agriculture. Islamabad, incidentally, supported Baku on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Both Azerbaijan and Pakistan have very good relations with Turkey: a matter of very complex, interlocking Turk-Persian cultural heritage.

And they may get even closer, with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INTSC) increasingly connecting not only Islamabad to Baku but also both to Moscow.

Thus the extra dimension of the new security mechanism proposed by Baku uniting Russia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia: all the Top Four here want closer ties with Pakistan.

Analyst Andrew Korybko has neatly dubbed it the “Golden Ring” – a new dimension to Central Eurasian integration featuring Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan and the central Asian “stans”. So this all goes way beyond a possible Triple Entente: Berlin-Ankara-Beijing.

What’s certain as it stands is that the all-important Berlin-Moscow relationship is bound to remain as cold as ice. Norwegian analyst Glenn Diesen summed it all up: “The German-Russian partnership for Greater Europe was replaced with the Chinese-Russian partnership for Greater Eurasia”.

What’s also certain is that Erdogan, a master of pivoting, will find ways to simultaneously profit from both Germany and Russia.

A Loving Father to All: Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

A Loving Father to All: Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

By Elham Hashemi

On the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Haj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, al-Ahed news had an exclusive interview with Zahraa; who was taken care of by martyr al-Muhandis after her father had passed away. She is only one of the very many young women and men who he had helped and supported throughout their lives.

He soon became my father…

I got acquainted to Haj Abu Mahdi when I was around 19 years old. It was in 2008 when we first met at a gathering with common friends and family members. I had lost my father two years before that and life was very tough on me. I was suffering from some issues at university, I had to quit and was exhausted. He noticed I was not okay, and he would always try to make me laugh and give me moral boosts whenever he would see me. Slowly became like a father to me. He would bring hope into my life and help me think positive and supported me in confronting my problems too.

He would always tell me, “You know I have four daughters, and now I have five, you are my fifth daughter.”

I really felt like I was one of his daughters. He supported me like he was my own father in different issues. Even when he was super busy, he would still find time to check up on me and my family members. His wife and daughters are also kind and well-educated women. They would participate in our family gatherings and as time passed we were like one family.

I would sometimes pass by his office with my husband, just to say hello, I knew he had hectic days and was overwhelmed with work.

We would discuss things related to my life, I would seek advice from him. I still remember how he encouraged me to seek my higher education again and focus on psychology as a major, he assured a few times “I really think that we need this major, you can help society a lot.”

A bright future awaits

He was very unique; the way he would speak to people, his generosity, and the positive vibes he spreads wherever he goes. He was a source of tranquility and happiness to me and my husband and I am later on got to know he was that source of delight and serenity for others too. He would always give me and other young men and ladies advice on how important it is to stay up-to-date, to seek good education, to do our best in everything. It was very important for him that young people play an effective role in society. He would tell me and others “You have to do your best always, you must know that the future is waiting and that it can be a bright future if you are successful in your own way and own field.”

He was a loving father to everyone around him, and he would try to personally help people out in their different issues. Of course, young men and women as I said were a main concern to him, and he always cared for them and encouraged them to build a great future.

Caring…

He was so caring, he would also take care of the sons and daughters of many of the martyrs; Iranians and Iraqis alike.

He always said “I feel uneasy to see depressed young people, yes life is tough but we can be tougher and we can win in face of all the challenges in life. Be active in all fields of life, leave your good finger prints wherever you go.”

When my husband and I would pass by to say hello or meet at a dinner or family gathering, he would always joke with my husband and tell him “If you give my lovely daughter a hard time I know how to deal with you,” and we would all laugh. The last time I saw him was around three months before his martyrdom. He asked me a lot if I need anything, he repeated his question several times and told me “my daughter, if you and your husband need anything just let me know, and if I cannot do it myself I will have someone help you out.” 

Abu Mahdi at the war fronts

My husband’s friend was present at the war fronts, when fighting the terrorist group Daesh in Iraq. He was under the supervision of Haj Abu Mahdi. He said that all what mattered to Haj Abu Mahdi was that things go right. It did not matter to him whether he ate or not, it was not important for him to sleep or rest, all what mattered was to achieve victory and protect innocent people and lands from the terrorist and extremist groups who raped, killed, and destroyed wherever they went.

And whenever he felt extremely tired he would eat anything simple, take a short nap even on the asphalt to regain some energy and continue his work.

Bidding him farewell

On that night, one of my best friends sent me a message consoling me on the martyrdom of Haj Abu Mahdi, I was shocked but I told myself this is not true. It was only seconds when my husband came and told me that Abu Mahdi and Haj Qassem Suleimani were assassinated and now are martyrs.

I told myself, it’s probably rumors. I did not want to believe. I was in denial at first, and I was unable to believe he was assassinated. It took me a while to calm down and realize that it’s true. In the morning the first thing I did was go to their house to see his wife and daughters. It was like I lost my father for the second time. His pictures were everywhere. Later on, I went to see him and say good bye but it was only remains of his body that were in the coffin.

 He promised me that he would be my father forever. He promised that he will always there for me. It is true that he was assassinated and no longer could I see him, but his soul is always with me.

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