Full speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General, his eminence Sayyed Nasrallah, during the memorial commemorating forty days after the martyrdom of the senior jihadi leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine held in the Shahed Educational Complex on Friday June 24, 2016.
I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the seal of the prophets, our master and prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad, and upon his chaste and pure household, and upon his chosen companions, and upon all messengers and prophets.
Scholars, deputies, brothers, and sisters! Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
We commence our speech by offering the rewards of Surat al-Fatiha to the great jihadi martyr-leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine and all his brethren martyrs.
I would like to welcome you all in this blessed gathering to honor this dear jihadi leader and sacrificing martyr. I ask Allah Almighty to bestow His blessings, forgiveness, mercy, content, dignity, and the benevolence of this world and the Hereafter on us, on you, and on all of our people during these great days and blessed nights in this holy month - the month of Allah Almighty. I reiterated my congratulations and condolences to the family of martyr-leader Mustafa Badreddine, his noble family, mother, wife, son, daughters, brothers, sisters, relatives, his next of kin, and his companions in jihad and arms.
I also must, at the beginning of my speech, address the families of the martyrs who fell in the latest confrontations in Aleppo, with my felicitations on the martyrdom of their dear ones, and with my condolences for missing these dear ones, as is the case with all martyrs, and as is the case of martyrdom. I ask Allah Almighty to grant the martyrs the most sublime statuses and to bestow patience and solace on the noble families of martyrs, and to make your consolation to them and to us a source full of reward, nobleness, and dignity in this world and in the Hereafter. I also want to hail the family of the brethren prisoner and the families of the previous prisoners in whose morals and steadfastness as well as the morals of the families of martyrs I feel proud. Here, I assert to you that your prisoners are entrusted to this resistance that never abandoned its prisoners in jails and behind bars. Our evidence to this truth is our great martyr whose memory we are marking today - martyr-leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. I also address the wounded fighters and ask Allah Almighty for a quick recovery to them, and we are also proud of their steadfastness, morals, and will to live. This is what we witnessed days ago in the hospital. We all saw how our wounded fighters continue their lives and how their families still adhere to their decisions and track and path.
In the holy nights of the holy month of Ramadan and before dawn, we read a supplication for Imam Zain al-Abideen (peace be upon him) which is known by Dua Abi Hamzeh al-Thamali. There is a nice phrase in this supplication - and all the phrases of this supplication are nice - that says: O My Lord! I ask you to grant me a rewarding patience, an imminent relief, a true affirmation, and a great reward. I ask You, O' my Lord, for all the good, whether I know of it or not.
This phrase starts with: O' My Lord! I ask you to grant me a rewarding patience. So the rewarding patience is the key for the imminent relief. The rewarding patience is what makes man honest in what he says; thus his words and feet are not shaken. The rewarding patience leads to a great reward. We are the procession of the rewarding patience. From the very first days, we adhered to patience, steadfastness, sacrifices, trusting in Allah Almighty, and regarding our martyrs, wounded fighters, pains, and all what afflicts us in the eye of Allah Almighty, and we would eyewitness the imminent relief manifested in the successive victories. Thus our procession was that of people of the honest word. God willing Allah will reward you and us abundantly should we abstain from frustrating our good deeds by clutching to any of the wrecks of this mundane world, and through faithfulness and steadfastness in what we say and steadfastness in what we do, to reach the anticipated result.
I would also like to remind myself and you and all the viewers, in order to benefit from the rest of the days and nights of this great month. My special recommendations are to those who during the 20, 19, or 18 days that passed were occupied by the permissible deeds and by excessively watching TV series, thus they wasted many of the nights of this holy month and its hours, minutes, and moments. So I call on them to seize the opportunity starting from this night. On the dawn of this night, a takfiri from the remains of the dissidents of Nahrawan killed the Imam of Muslims and the Caliph of Muslims, Ali ibn Abi Taleb (peace be upon him) in his prayer mihrab, calling the Imam a disbeliever. Tonight, we mark the anniversary of a takfiri phenomenon, when a takfiri labeled as a disbeliever the Imam of the Muslims, the Imam of the Muslim community and all Muslims, and thus he legitimized the spilling of their blood. He further legitimized killing their Imam in the Mosque of Allah Almighty.
So here, I hope that God willing we will cooperate together to supplicate and pray throughout the coming nights and ask Allah Almighty to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on our martyrs, and to grant them sublime statuses and the intercession of the prophets, the saints, and the holy men. We also ask Allah for a quick recovery for our wounded fighters and freedom to our prisoners and salvation, peace, security, integrity, dignity, ease, and happiness.
Today, I would like to talk a little bit about the occasion and its owner as a prelude to talking about some local and regional points in utmost brevity God willing.
Indeed, I will postpone talking about the "Israeli" threats of which we heard during the past few days, the Herzliya Conference, the Arab-"Israeli" struggle in general, the development of Arab-"Israeli" ties, and the Arab performance in the Palestinian-"Israeli" cause, to next Friday God willing - should we remain alive - when we together mark International al-Quds Day, which was announced by his eminence Imam Khomeini (May Allah reward him in heaven) on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
No doubt with the martyrdom of our dear brother Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, we in Hizbullah in particular lost a great leader of the Resistance, and one of its main pillars, and one of its creative minds. He was a brave, dauntless, fearless leader whom you find before your hands in major causes and dangerous challenges. He was clear-eyed and head-witted, for people usually in hardships and storms become confused. Their minds and wills and hearts may weaken. As for Sayyed Mustafa, he was clear-witted, steadfast, with a fearless heart, high determination and resolution. He did not weaken or cower. He did not shake no matter how tough the storms and hardships were.
Today, I do not want to reiterate what I said - in the ceremony honoring the great leader following a week from his martyrdom - about his role, missions, achievements, and leadership in the resistance over many years in the security and military fields, especially since it is not possible to talk a lot about the characteristics and achievements of these kind of leaders, especially since the resistance is still in the heart of the battle. There may come a time in this generation or the generations to come in which these files may be opened and these great and honorable pages may be unfolded.
Today, I want to tackle two points and embark from the second point to the political situation. The first point is the role of Martyr Sayyed Mustafa in the release of the captives and detainees from "Israeli" prisons. Indeed, this was one of the very important files in the resistance. It is a very complicated issue that requires rewarding patience, endurance, and perseverance for sure. Today, we will talk in length about the rewarding patience.
Indeed, this was one of his major missions, perhaps because he was a resistance man and rather, a leader in the resistance on the first hand, secondly, because of the emotional aspect in the personality of Sayyed Mustafa which I talked about during the first week following his martyrdom, and thirdly, because he personally suffered in prison and knew what suffering in the prisons meant, especially in solitary confinement. Thus he had a special interest and enthusiasm to follow this cause, and he volunteered to address it. He used to say: My brother! Let me assume the responsibility of this file. I would like to follow this file and negotiate. Despite the security perils pertaining to him in person, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine was the head of the negotiations team in all the negotiations that were underway by the end of the nineties and the end of the negotiations which were wrapped up by the release of the brother and leader, martyr Samir Quntar and his companions in the so called Radwan Operation that took place following the July War. If you still remember, following the Radwan Operation, I thanked the brothers and said that unfortunately there are some names which we can't mention. The name was in fact Mustafa Badreddine.
Anyway, he and his brothers worked industriously in this cause. I still remember that these negotiations lasted for years and required long and complicated sessions; but with wisdom, patience, awareness, comprehension, and intelligence along with his brothers in the team and the supporting side too, great achievements were made in this perspective. Praise be to Allah! We can say that our prisoners and detainees in prisons were freed with dignity and pride and without anyone begrudging us anything. They were released thanks to the resolution and industrious work of the resistance men and above all, by virtue of Allah Almighty.
Well, yes there remain some complicated files which have not been achieved yet and within which no results were reached, files pertaining to some Lebanese brothers whom the "Israeli" enemy insists are not with them, or that they were martyred and they do not have their remains or the like.
This file must always be followed up, and I mentioned it as per its link to the occasion.
The other point is that the martyr Sayyed was concerned with the events and developments in the region as per "Israel" and Palestine, and the struggle with the "Israeli" enemy. This is normal as it comes in the framework of his responsibility in the resistance which we talked about previously.
In recent years, major events took place in the region. It goes without saying that we have files and responsibilities distributed among the brethren leaders. Brother Sayyed Mustafa was responsible for several files; for example, the jihadi file in Iraq, the jihadi file in Syria, and other files. He used to shoulder great responsibilities. He had a great sense of responsibility as per the dangers resulting from the development of events in the region.
Indeed, some in Lebanon try to break down the issues saying for example: what have we Lebanese to do with what is taking place in Iraq? What have we Lebanese to do with what is taking place in Syria? Well, when the Lebanese complain of the 2 million displaced Syrians, they count the expenditure on these Syrians in the billions of dollars besides other economic, financial, and security charges. This is the result of what? This is the result of the events in the region, in Iraq, in Syria...The security dangers are the outcome of these events. Anyway, this faith and conviction shared by Hizbullah and many of our friends in Lebanon was strong in Sayyed Mustafa. He used to believe that true, we are helping the Iraqis in Iraq and the Syrians in Syria, but we are here defending Lebanon, our people in Lebanon, the future of Lebanon, and the destiny of Lebanon because it is impossible to disintegrate Lebanon and the fate and future of Lebanon from what is taking place in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq. Thus the Sayyed used to follow these files very closely.
I still remember what is taking place in Iraq, and I will give only this example because I want to talk a bit about Syria and the Sayyed. When Daesh first attacked Iraq, unfortunately, within a few days and nights it controlled the Mosul province, a large section of Anbar province, a large section of the Diyala province, and a large part of the Kirkuk province, besides almost the entire province of Saladin. Indeed, that did not take place via a mere local step taken by Daesh. It is not appropriate to unfold this file again. That was a major scheme that has to do with the Americans. As you know, I talk with much transparency. So that scheme has to does with the Turks, Saudi Arabia, and the region, and it comes within a definite framework for Iraq and the entire situation in the region. Later the tables were turned. This is another field of research. Daesh announced the caliphate and threatened Syria. This is another field of research.
Anyway, the situation was difficult in Iraq. There was a state of mobilization and calls for jihad. The brothers in Iraq contacted us. They were talking about sunset and they were talking about the following day. They said: O' our brethren in Hizbullah! We want from you a certain number of your cadres and leaders. We do not need fighters. We want leaders. We want a cadre of leaders to transfer their experiences and plans, lead the field, train, plot, and help in plotting and also raise morales. Perhaps it is the first time we talk about this but it is important to say this. It is not harmful; perhaps it is beneficiary. Between 10 and 11 at night, I received this message. It was a call for help and an appeal for aid. I contacted Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine because he is the concerned official who used to follow this file, and I told him that the brothers said so and so, and these are their needs. Tomorrow morning, they want cadres and leaders with such and such characteristics. This number and the transportation means must be ready in order to transfer them to Baghdad.
Within hours everything was ready. Indeed, we are not military generals and leaders stationed in barracks. We are ordinary people in our houses, villages, cities, and work. These numbers were withdrawn from their fronts and houses. When you talk about a cadre of leaders you would be talking about people who have their families, wives, and children. Some of those who went to Iraq on that night have grandchildren too. At dawn, the required number of jihadi leaders was ready to move to Baghdad. It is not easy for anyone to undertake this task. These men left at midnight. They left their homes, families, wives, children, and work to answer this call for help. Was this call for help not answered by all those who answered it - above all the Iraqi people themselves, (and then) the brethren from the Guards of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Iranian generals - Daesh would have today been in Baghdad and the other capitals of the Daesh caliphate which Abu Bakr al Baghdadi announced from Mosul, and the region would have been suffering from an endless catastrophe. So the Iraqis answered this call first and above all - the Iraqi brethren, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi people. They answered the call of their religious authorities, leaderships, parties, and forces, and then come their friends who joined them.
This is an example. Praise be to Allah! The rewarding patience in Iraq, the steadfast industrious jihad, and the awareness despite all the difficulties - as in Iraq there are enormous difficulties on the administrative, popular, economic, social, living, and security levels - we found that the Iraqis could defeat Daesh with their resolution to fight. They made national unity for themselves, and under this national banner they defeated Daesh, contrary to what some Arab satellites want. These channels defend Daesh day and night; they fight along side Daesh with lies, fabrications, sectarian sedition, and factional instigation. You know these channels. When you switch through the channels, you know which satellites I mean. So the Iraqis defeated Daesh, and the recent defeat was a historical crushing defeat afflicted on them in Fallujah. We ask Allah Almighty that the Iraqis will continue in their sweeping victory and in purging their land.
The Iraqis who are fighting today in Fallujah, Anbar, and Mosul are defending the entire region, the entire nation, all the peoples of the region, and the Arab and Islamic world. So they are not defending their cities only.
Here we must hail our brethren, the Sunni scholars and political leaders in Iraq, who had very noble stances in this battle. They toppled and flopped the endeavors of these malicious devils who wanted to depict to the world that the Iraqis are engaged in a battle to liberate Fallujah and that the battle is between Sunnis and Shiites and that the battle is factional and sectarian.
Now I move to Syria. From the very first days, martyr Sayyed Mustafa (May Allah reward him in Heaven) had a very strong conviction. First, just like the other brethren, he recognized and understood the magnitude of the threats and the dangers. After all, we used to sit together and make discussions. Perhaps we would differ in interpreting the threats and dangers or in evaluating the events and the stance or in suggesting a draft for a definite decision. From the very beginning, he was one of those who believe and comprehend very well the magnitude of these threats and dangers posed by the situation in Syria, and one of those who know very well the true goals behind these events. If only things in Syria were limited to a peaceful movement. At the beginning there was a strong inclination towards a political dialogue, but the events in Syria were pushed towards fighting and the refusal of any form of political dialogue by the states which ran this ordeal in Syria. He was also among the very few who believed in the possibility of a chance to overcome this ordeal and gain victory. This is very important my brothers. You know at that time, all the people believed and all the satellites in the world and the political analysts - except for a very small number - and even many of Syria's allies and friends and even officials in Syria, used to say that the story of Syria will be over in several weeks or several months at most.
It would not take a year even - I don't believe anyone was saying it will take one year, due to the global war, the media war, the psychological war and hundreds of satellites which speak in all living tongues in the world, and the magnitude of instigation and giving the issue a sectarian and factional dimension. That was really enormous. Developments were very quick in the field. The battle was in the major Syrian cities, and the rural areas were imminently collapsing because the army was not deployed in the rural areas. So any armed man could control 200 villages and 500 villages because the army was not deployed. There were only few policemen who do not make any difference. Anyway, when the battle was in the center of Damascus and its surroundings and in the heart of Homs, Aleppo, and the major cities in Syria in the framework of this global aggression on Syria, it was difficult to say that we, with our will, determination, and presence in Syria along with the Syrians and the rest of the allies are able to confront and push away the dangers and defeat these challenges. Still that was possible in the mind of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. In fact, this indicates historical awareness because after four or five years, the validity of this concept and the integrity of this mind were asserted at a time when such a concept was very rare in the Arab and Islamic world.
He did not only theorize on this issue; he also volunteered. He used to tell me and to tell the brethren: I am ready to assume this responsibility. I am ready to go to the battlefield and to partake in this very dangerous battle with the possibility of losing in it. This possibility was very big in the eyes of many. Usually, the military leader prefers to go to the battles in which the tidings of victory flutter, to add a new victory to his record of victories and achievements. He said I am ready to go to this battle, and should it be required that I get killed in this battle, then I am ready to be killed in this battle because in this battle, we are safeguarding our country, people, resistance, and our primary project, which is confronting "Israel" and the Zionist project in the region and Palestine.
He followed all the stages of the struggle. When the battle was on the gate of Damascus and at times in the interior neighborhoods of Damascus, and when most rural areas were falling in the surroundings of Damascus, he went there. He was there with all of his brethren. We usually do not attribute the virtue to one person to show our gratitude to everyone; however, we usually refer to martyrs with their names. As for the living leaders, we refer to them with their titles. We do not mention their names. So Sayyed Badreddine and his brethren were present and fought and were steadfast alongside the Syrian Army, the Syrian people, and all the allies who went to Syria from the very beginning. Tough and hard years passed. Now some antagonistic political analysts and even some friends who are influenced by them say that the Russian presence was crucial. Indeed the Russian intervention gave a great thrust to the battle in Syria; however, we must always remember that the Syrians and their friends fought for four years which were the hardest and the toughest. There were no Russian warplanes and military bases or anything of this sort. Now the conditions are much better than at any time in the past.
From Damascus to all the fields and squares Sayyed Mustafa went. You know and now it is clear that he had difficulty walking. He used to exert effort to walk which makes him tired. Still there is no region in Syria which he did not set foot on: from Damascus to Zabadani, Qalamoun, the province of Homs, the city of Homs, the north of Lattakia, the rural areas of Lattakia, Sahl Ghab, the gates of Idlib, Hama, Athraya Road, Aleppo, the rural areas of Aleppo, Palmyra, the south of Syria, and the major confrontations and battles that took place in the south in Quneitra and Daraa. He and his brethren were present where they could and should have been present.
Indeed, the last topic I want to tackle and move from to the current situation is the last battle field - meaning Aleppo and the battlefield in Aleppo. We all remember that months ago it was clear that a very big decision was taken on the international and regional level - when I say regional, I mean Turkey and Saudi Arabia - to invest and summon more armed groups. They tell you that they are fighting Takfirism and terrorism while they are still summoning more armed groups. In the past few months, they brought along thousands through the route of Turkey to the north of Aleppo because there was a new scheme. All the previous schemes flopped. Going back quickly to the successive series of schemes, the scheme of toppling Damascus in its rural areas came to an end. You remember the major confrontations especially during the month of Ramadan years ago. The scheme was to head from Bekaa and Arsal in Lebanon to the north and Mediterranean Sea, to Quseir and Homs, to block the road of Damascus from the coast and thus besiege Damascus and besiege it from all sides. This also was toppled.
In the previous year, an attack was staged from the south - the operations of 'Moq' and the 'Southern Storm', if you remember, the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth campaigns in the south, they were foiled. The southern front was aimed at reaching Damascus. Daesh sought to move from Raqqa and Deir Zour towards Palmyra, in order to reach Damascus. That's because everyone knows that as long as Damascus is steadfast, that means that Daesh did not achieve its goal of toppling the regime and controlling Syria. This also was toppled in the desert and in Palmyra. So what is still left? There remains attacking from the north. The attack from Lebanon came to an end. There are some armed men in the Arsal barren areas who form a threat. They are still preparing booby-trapped cars. They did not give up yet. They are still working with booby-trapped cars, and the security apparatuses are forcefully active in this regard.
So the offensive from Lebanon came to an end; the attack from Jordan and from the southern front is 90% over after Daesh withdrew from Palmyra and the battle it is engaged in on more than one front; the attack from the east towards Damascus came to an end. So there remains the north and Aleppo. Why? I want to explain this issue to the Syrians first, the Lebanese second, and to everyone who wants to know the reasons behind our presence in Aleppo. This is in line with the rule that we will be where we must be. So must we be there?
This is what I wish to talk about. They brought along thousands of fighters from all around the world again and from various nationalities. The Turkish-Syrian frontiers are open. It is not only open from a long time ago; it is also open overtly. Vehicles, artilleries, legions, large numbers of troops, and tanks are flowing in from that area. What is the goal? The goal is toppling what remains of Aleppo province and the city of Aleppo in particular. Indeed before controlling the city of Aleppo, they aim to block the well-known road to Aleppo. From Aleppo, the troops would move towards Hama, Homs, and reach Damascus. So we are before a new wave and not before an accidental incident or a particular clash. No, we are rather before a new wave or a new stage of the war schemes on Syria waged currently in the north of Syria and in particular in Aleppo.
Fighting in defense of Aleppo is fighting in defense of the rest of Syria and in defense of Damascus. It is also fighting in defense of Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, which has started paying for backing the armed groups according to what I read days ago - yesterday or the day after - and according to television channels. So I do not know if that is true as I am not talking about something which I am not sure of. The booby-trapped cars which the suicide bombers used against the Jordanian soldiers were given by the Jordanian government to the armed groups. This is the reward of benevolence if this is benevolence. This is how the groups are showing thankfulness.
Anyway, they are giving a new chance for the US project - frankly speaking the US-Saudi-Takfiri scheme - in order to make a big achievement in Syria which would threaten all the achievements of the past years and threaten the entire region. Thus we were supposed to be in Aleppo, and we were in Aleppo. We were supposed to be in Aleppo, and we will remain in Aleppo. This is the stance which Sayyed Zulfiqar and his brethren in the Islamic Resistance manifested. They went there in great numbers. Yes, our number in Aleppo is big. It is not a humble number of our cadres and men. That's because this is the nature of this battle and the truth about this battle and its targets.
What is taking place in Aleppo is a violent battle. Allow me to talk here in a direct way. True, a number of our martyrs fell, and I will talk about the exact number. As usual some media outlets in Lebanon as well as in some of the Arab media outlets which are financed by the Gulf launched a campaign to the effect that Hizbullah is collapsing in Aleppo, and Hizbullah is being afflicted tough blows... Well, hold on. What is the story? Indeed, we usually do not get engaged in such contests but they really go far in what they say. Today, I do not want to talk in an indirect way. I rather will be straight. For these (people) allow me to say: you fabricate the lie, spread it, believe it, and then you are happy with it, just like the story of Goha and the village and the wedding which all the Lebanese know. This is our story with that political and media bloc which deep inside is with Daesh in Fallujah, with Daesh in Raqqa, and with the Nusra Front in Aleppo and Idlib. Now they will say that the Sayyed is accusing us. But see your television stations, statements, and stances. This is part of the psychological war on us. Still you are wrong.
Now let's clarify the story a little bit. When we evaluate any battle, we must take the entire scene. You can't tell me (one) piece of news from a larger image. There are 26 martyrs for Hizbullah from the beginning of the June to our day, besides one captive and a missing fighter. This is the precise number. We usually do not give numbers, but now we want to address a stance and talk about things with precision. They are 26 martyrs, one captive, and a missing fighter. All the other figures that mount to 50, 60, 100, and 200 are nonsense.
Well, at times you take a part of a section or a part of the full scene. Let's see the whole scene. A major battle is taking place in Aleppo that targets the city and the entire region, and its aim is on the level of all of Syria and the entire region. Regional states stand behind this battle and thousands of fighters were mobilized for it. This campaign was confronted heroically and bravely by the Syrians - the Syrian Army and the popular forces - Hizbullah, and the allies from more than one country, whether Iran or other countries. They fought bravely and stood steadfastly and toppled their scheme and prevented them from achieving their scheme. To lose a village does not change the scene a lot. In fact, these forces widened the geographic (stationing of military power), formed a very wide security belt for the city of Aleppo, and opened the way to Nubl and Zahraa. They made a great achievement to the extent that the other axis was about to collapse. Let's carry out self-criticism. The other axis was about to collapse. America intervened as well as the Security Council, and they exerted pressure on Russia and the international community and imposed a ceasefire on everyone. Who benefited from the ceasefire in Aleppo? They are these (sides) who brought along thousands of fighters, tanks, troop carriers, artilleries, and ammunition to revive this scheme.
So there are great achievements that were made in Aleppo: a broad geographic stationing which formed a security belt to the city, opening the road and breaking the siege imposed on the city of Aleppo at a time when the road leading to it used to be blocked every day or every other day. Still they remained steadfast in the face of these fierce and tough attacks which were launched on them by these troops. Well, 26 martyrs fell for us, and martyrs fell for our Syrian brethren and the rest of our allies. However, let's see what are the figures on the other side? Here I want you to open brackets. In our war with "Israel", we used to talk about our martyrs and the losses afflicted on the enemy. That was part of the battle and part of the psychological war, and part of the media war. That is very natural. If we used to say there are two martyrs here, three martyrs there, and five martyrs, well what about the enemy? They do not talk about the enemy? This may be exploited negatively. We used to talk about the enemy and their soldiers and casualties. We used to film how we stormed into the garrisons, how we destroyed tanks and vehicles, and our self-martyrdom operations. This used to compliment the scene of our martyrs and make an achievement on the moral level.
For several reasons which we do not have time to mention, we used to fight silently in Syria. We never one day - except on the day of the barren areas of Arsal and Qalamoun - said this is the number of our martyrs. We never said this is the number of the casualties of the terrorist groups. There are many reasons why we do not do that. However, allow me exceptionally to tell you the magnitude of the battle in Aleppo.
I do not want to talk about 3 or 4 or 5 months when the true battle started there, because should I tell you the numbers, some people - even from among our friends - may not grasp that. So let's start from June 1, 2016 - meaning from the beginning of the current month. The figures I will tell you are documented in place, time, and name. Even if you entered into the formations of the armed groups, you will find many of these names included. But no one is occupied with them; they are all occupied with us. They count our martyrs, and mention their names. They create from them a human catastrophe, and their hearts ache on our men.
To benefit from our time, I will give a quick counting. Just from June 1 to June 24, the number of killed armed men is 617, including tens of field leaders and some cadres. The names of these leaders are found in the formations of the armed groups. There are more than 800 wounded just from June 1. At times the wounded fighter causes confusion. Some wounded cause more confusion than the martyrs. More than 80 tanks, troop carriers, and military vehicles were destroyed or damaged in this front. You know that this number is large. We are talking about 80 tanks, troop carriers, and military vehicles. We did not include in this number the emplacements which were destroyed, the operation rooms, the camps, and the arsenals. Let's keep this aside.
Well, place these figures in the full scene that includes 26 martyrs, one missing, and one captive. In such a battle, the number of martyrs must have been greater. As for the geographic outcome, we lost a village, and we left a village. So this is not the story. The outcome is drawn from the battle as a whole. Was the enemy allowed to advance towards achieving its goal? Did you afflict heavy casualties and losses that harm its will to fight, to tell it that its project is a failure? What made the ‘Southern Storm' come to a halt? The five stages of the ‘Southern Storm' in Daraa were halted by the magnitude of human losses in the lines of the armed forces. They were weakened by the wounds inflicted on them. They were not able to continue. The Saudis as well as the Americans exerted pressure on them and paid more money after they were totally weakened. The number of casualties and wounded and the magnitude of doubt and uncertainty were huge, to the extent they lost any hope of making any achievement. This is what we seek to achieve in Aleppo.
Indeed, there are martyrs among the Syrian brethren, the Iranian brethren and the rest of the dear allies, but here we are talking about a battle with such magnitude. Contrary to those who depicted what has been taking place in Aleppo in the past few months as successive defeats as they do not know the truth about this battle, what is taking place in Aleppo is magnificent historic steadfastness before the magnitude of the new conspiracy and the new stage. Indeed, that leads to an additional responsibility. We need to be more efficiently present in Aleppo. Not only is Hizbullah is required to be there - though we will increase our numbers in Aleppo - everyone is required to be there because the true battle is there.
The other battles may have a defensive aspect or may be local or limited but the true strategic major battle now in Syria is in the city of Aleppo and the region of Aleppo, and retreat, weakness, doubt, feebleness, hesitation, and succumbing to lies, rumors, and the misleading psychological war are forbidden. This is the will of our brethren who sent the message of the resistance fighters there as they did during the July War. In fact, they are the very men who fought in the July War. This is their will, and this is their determination. Some may tell you that the environment in Lebanon was shaken or taken aback. That is not true. That applies to the environment in your mind. As for our environment, it is not as such at all. Our environment grows more and more faithful in this battle day after day. It becomes more confident that this choice is right because it sees all what is taking place in the region and understands very well these schemes. We do not hide our head in the sand. We never did that, and we will never be inattentive regarding this issue.
Thus allow me in a couple of words to answer the message of the resistance fighters. We will not compose a lengthy letter. We will only tell them: you are honest in your promise to Allah Almighty; you are entrusted to the fate, dignity, future, and wills of the martyrs and the resistance. Yours is the true Husseini devotion which brought you from your villages and towns in the South and Bekaa and from all over Lebanon to travel 500 km to fight in the battle of righteousness. We relied on you in the July War, and we rely on you in this battle. We trust in Allah and in the men of Allah. You made the legend and history in the region and foiled the schemes of the US and its collaborators in the region in the July War, and you will topple the Takfiri schemes of sedition and hegemony in the region as you did in the July War.
Thus the brethren of the great martyr-leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine will carry on in Aleppo what Sayyed Mustafa started. They will carry on in Syria what Sayyed Mustafa started. Should it be required, we will go to Iraq as Sayyed Mustafa did because this is our path and this is our choice. This is our culture, responsibility, and faith. And tomorrow will soon come for he who is awaiting it God willing. Tomorrow will soon come.
The brethren of martyr-leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine will not flee the battlefield because they are fit to stay there. They are competent to achieve victory, and they will not return except with the banners of victory fluttering over their heads. Martyrs will fall, and there will be processions of martyrs because with martyrs and martyrdom victory is achieved. It is martyrs, martyrdom, and steadfastness that are expressed by the rewarding patience with which the imminent relief is achieved.
Now allow me in the remaining time to tackle two or three topics in a quick way. Now I will not talk about the local political situation, the government, the deals, the new scandals as per the rubbish (crisis), the dialogue table, the election law, the presidential elections...These are lengthy topics, and they are reiterated in a boring way at times. Thus I will tackle two local points and a regional point.
The first quick point is the issue of opening fire in the air in a show of celebration. We call for a comprehensive national address to this issue on the cultural, social, political, organizational, party, and media level. Arms are widespread all over Lebanon. This issue is not limited to a certain party or organization while excluding another. No one can say that he does not have this or that kind of weapon. Everyone has a Kalashnikov and he who does not have a Kalashnikov has an M16. Everyone has arms. The houses of the Lebanese are packed with arms, and all open fire in the air. When the Year 9 (school) results are announced, he whose son succeeds opens fire, and he whose son fails (also) opens fire in the air. One opens fire as a show of happiness; the other opens fire in a show of anger. That is if he did not open fire on his son. This is an old Lebanese phenomenon that has been taking place for decades now, even before Hizbullah was formed. Some try to hold us responsible for this phenomenon despite the fact that this phenomenon used to take place at the time of my father, my grandfather, and my great grandfather. Anyway, this issue needs a comprehensive national treatment.
We in Hizbullah took a decision. We want to address this issue with a great thrust on the media, cultural, social, and educational levels in our areas, towns, villages, and neighborhoods, and on the level of our members and our organization, and we launched a broad campaign to this effect.
The thing which I want to announce today and to which reason I evoked this point is that I want to make use of the celebration and announce something to Hizbullah youth. This is also the message of the blood of the martyrs Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, Imad Moghnieh, Sayyed Abbas, Sheikh Ragheb, and all the other martyrs. We reject this issue decisively, and we will confront it.
Well, we talked to this effect and informed all the members, and put it into circulation. Praise be to Allah, in the past couple of weeks, or three weeks since we first circulated this internal notice, the commitment is 100% or 99.99% to be precautious. Still, we are not satisfied with moral guidance and punishment. In fact, the leadership of Hizbullah convened and unanimously took a decision. This is an official notice, and we will distribute it to all our members as a written statement including the subsequent procedural moves. From now on, anyone from our members who opens fire in the air and perpetrates this forbidden, shameful, humiliating, harmful, demeaning act, will be dismissed from the party.
In my view point and as I told the brethren who agreed on what I said, this act has become really very humiliating and disgraceful. That means we will expel him from our lines and formations even if he has been with the party for 30 years, even if he fought "Israel" for 30 years, and even if his jihadi history is very great. This sin will be enough for us to expel him from our lines. We hope that the political parties, organizations, movements, and factions in Lebanon will take similar initiatives within this regard so we as Lebanese cooperate to put an end to this sinful, dangerous, harmful phenomenon in our society.
The second point is the financial issue, the banks, and the US sanctions law. From the very beginning and even before the Americans issued the law regarding the Lebanese, it was clear that the US was moving in this direction. They were voting on the law, and my brethren and I warned against this issue. It is taken for granted that we categorically reject the US sanctions law for reasons that have to do with sovereignty, the law, our vision of the Americans, and the position of the US in the world. Now I do not want to tackle these issues as I do not have time. Anyway, the law is rejected until the Day of Judgment.
I have talked previously about the second point in this perspective, but I will reiterate it now because some people also fabricate dreams and afterwards they write their dreams and believe them and act accordingly. For example, we read in the previous weeks' headlines things like "Hizbullah is collapsing financially", "Hizbullah is collapsing economically"...O' people come to our rescue! O' benevolent people! We will die from hunger. Save our souls.
Unfortunately, this is childishness and dumbness. Some Lebanese and Arab media outlets have reached this level. Well, when I spoke, I said that the strictest application of this law by Lebanese banks will not make any difference for us as a party and as a jihadi organization. Here I am being precise because we will act accordingly. This law will not harm or affect us. True, it is a moral pressure but it does not have any financial impact on Hizbullah. I explained the reasons. I will repeat and repeat for these dumb (people) to know. I said that we do not have commercial projects, and we do not have investment institutions that benefit from banks, and that should you apply sanctions on them, we will breakdown. We do not have such things to begin with. We will say it overtly and frankly, and perhaps no one in the entire world speaks as overtly and as honestly and as transparently as we do. I am speaking for the entire world to know: I frankly say that salaries, expenditure, budget, arms, and rockets of Hizbullah are from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Is that clear?
No one has anything to do with this. As long as Iran has money, that means we have money. Do you want me to be more transparent? The money allotted to us does not reach us via banks. They reach us in the same way as our rockets - with which we threaten "Israel" - reach us. No law can prevent this money from being delivered to us.
Here some people would like to object. Well, let them do so. There is the sea before them. The Mediterranean Sea is such a large sea. Let them drink from it! This is between brackets. Here, we - the resistance men, masses, and people - show our gratitude to the leader of the nation, his eminence Imam Sayyed Khamenei (May Allah prolong his life span) and to the leadership of the Islamic Republic and its government, parliament, president, scholars and people for their generous support for the resistance over these long years and which has never stopped to thsi day. Many thanks to you all.
In fact, it is not you who pay salaries. We do. Your budgets are suspended. We pay our budgets. You haven't paid yet the charges of 2009 elections at a time when we paid the recent municipal elections charges. We do not have any financial problem. So let no one ache for us.
Well, yes at times we may feel under pressure as our expenses have increased, and you know the local expenses differ from the regional expenses. I mean that our body grew and thus we must enlarge our shirt. Well, we are not able to enlarge it now. But it's okay. If we feel pressure, it is because our expenses increased and not because we have a financial problem. We do not have a financial problem, and all the banks in the world can't block our way.
When sanctions were imposed on Iran and when the entire world was besieging Iran, the money which was allotted to us used to reach us. So do not bet on this. Calm down, and you will find us still active, and our faces blooming, though we must not grow much more!
The third point is that we are not afraid for ourselves - on Hizbullah officials and men - and the structure, the budgets, and the headquarters of Hizbullah. We are never afraid about these things. We rather care for the people. Do not target the people. Well, what happened? Allow me to tell you why Hizbullah and the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc became angry and issued stances which led to a big problem in the country. Frankly speaking, some banks in Lebanon went too far. They were more American than the Americans. They even did things which the Americans did not ask them to do. The Americans did not recommend that from them but they broadened the sphere. You sought institutions and names which were not comprised in the US law which you say you would be embarrassed shouldn't you execute it (the law on). Some banks crossed out the accounts of charities which were not on the US list. Is this a humane act? Is this a legal act? Is this a national act? Does this act protect the Lebanese economy? Does this protect the banking system in Lebanon? Or is this rather an aggression on charities and on people?
Some banks are tracking people. If the father, brother, sister, or son-in -law of any person is affiliated with Hizbullah, they ask from him to cancel his account. Is this a law? Is there a sense of nationality in this? Is this sovereignty? Or is this rather a bad exploitation and aggression on our people, masses, and families? We reject this aggression, and we will not accept this aggression, and we will not allow this aggression to take place. Whoever says he is concerned about the Lebanese economy must be aware. One third or half of the Lebanese people are being targeted because soon they will say that this Sunni loves Hizbullah, and that Christian is an ally to Hizbullah, and that Druze has a common stance with Hizbullah, and the banks would search for photos of political officials with Hizbullah officials and take them as a pretext to cancel the officials' accounts from banks.
Does attacking a broad section of the Lebanese protect the Lebanese economy or destroy the Lebanese economy? Who is destroying the Lebanese economy? You are destroying the banking system in Lebanon? The irresponsible aggressive conduct of some banks in Lebanon is destroying the banking system in Lebanon.
We were open to solutions and dialogue with the concerned officials from the very first day. We are searching for ways out not pursuant to our acceptance of the law but rather because we refuse the law. However, we are realistic. We too are concerned about the country, the economy of the country, the security of the country, and the integrity of the country. Thus we went for dialogue, and dialogue is still underway. Talks are taking place, there are meditators, and officials are exerting efforts in this perspective. There are issues which are being addressed and issues which will be addressed, and things are taking a positive track God willing.
Still I want to express my concern. Indeed we know that some Lebanese went to Washington and instigated this file and there are enemies who called for the issuance of the US law. Still put all of this aside. Many people sought much to evoke the financial issue, and we put this issue aside. We do not accept any aggression against our people and masses, and at the same time, we are open to addressing this issue.
The last point before wrapping up the speech is a regional topic. Of course I was planning to talk about Yemen and other countries, but I'll leave that to al Quds Day. As for Bahrain, what happened recently was a dangerous development. Stripping Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem (May God bless him and protect him) of his Bahraini citizenship was a highly dangerous act perpetrated by the Bahraini government. He is the reverent, chaste, and courageous leader who had shouldered a historical responsibility during the past few years.
Brothers and sisters! As you all know, since its beginning over five years ago, this was a mere peaceful popular movement even though it was subject to much oppression. In response to this peaceful, popular movement in Bahrain, people had been killed from the very first weeks and Saudi forces, under the name of "Peninsula Shield Force", were summoned. They even removed the pearl in the Pearl Roundabout, which they were so proud of since it was a symbol for this movement and this popular will. All the demands of this peaceful popular movement are normal and natural. They talk about reform, rights, addressing corruption, and social justice. All the demands of the Bahraini popular movement are rightful according to the human, religious, ethical, legal and international norms. The Bahraini people didn't resort to violence or use violence; they didn't even hold arms. They walked in demonstrations and got killed, and their leaders and scholars were arrested and hurled in jail. They violated their honor, and their women and even senior leaders, scholars, and symbols were thrown in jail.
They even stripped the citizenships of a large number of scholars, some of them were the representatives of senior religious authorities. So this policy was used. All the endeavors for dialogue exerted by the opposition were rebuffed by the government because they already made their decision. We will be insulted by the Bahraini government in the coming few days but that's not a problem. In fact, there is no such thing as the Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain; they only execute the orders of the Saud dynasty. The Saud dynasty had taken a decision: dialogue is not allowed in Bahrain; reform is not allowed in Bahrain, no rights are to be granted to the Bahraini people, no real political operation is to take place in Bahrain. That is for a simple reason. It is because this will open the way to the people of Saudi Arabia who are deprived of any political or democratic operation or political participation. Once they find out that this sample has succeeded in Bahrain, the movement will extend to the kingdom. We all know that the kingdom and the Saud dynasty fought this sample, persecuted it when it first started in Tunisia, and fought it and conspired against it in Tunisia, Egypt, and in all the other places.
The opposition leaders in Bahrain were told to remain silent. Arrests and aggressions continued. The path of this peaceful popular movement remained peaceful and had never become violent. The real reason was the leadership of the senior scholars in Bahrain led by his eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem. That is besides the general culture adopted by the political associations, especially Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society and Sheikh Ali Salman (May he be freed soon).
Otherwise oppression, arrests, force, aggressiveness, and the demolition of houses and mosques in Bahrain used to enrage the Bahraini youth who are enthusiastic and are ready to give sacrifices. They lack nothing, even (the readiness) to stage self-martyrdom operations. They are courageous and fearless men. But who exerted efforts to control the youth and contain the street? This isn't an easy issue. As Lebanese people, you and I know that controlling people's emotions, feelings, anger, and zeal can be pretty hard. This is why a lot of people lead their leaderships instead of them leading the people, since this is a very hard process. Over the past five years, his eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem and senior scholars along with their companions in Bahrain practiced the greatest and most marvelous leadership process in containing the street which is being aggressed against to prevent it from slipping towards violence.
Today, if anyone in the world deserves to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace or the Human Rights Award, it would be Sheikh Issa Qassem.
However, how was he rewarded? He was rewarded by international silence and Arab silence. On the contrary, in the Arab world, they turned the story into a sectarian issue, meaning that the crisis is between the Shiites and the Sunni Khalifa dynasty. No, this is not a sectarian crisis.
Under the Arab silence and the direct Saudi intervention in Bahrain, the goal had always been that the Bahraini people go home, give up and don't talk about anything. Later, we will see whether we would undergo any reforms. This is the very logic that is being used in Kuwait on the Yemeni negotiating table. Since when? For two months or even more, the delegation of Abed Rabbo Mansur - in other words the Riyadh delegation or the Saudi delegation - is reiterating the same demands: withdrawing from the cities, handing in arms.... Afterwards, we may talk politics. Give up first. Let Yemen be under our control, give us everything, let us have control over your lives and the lives of your children and your honor, and then we may sit and talk politics. By any means, is there an insane person in the world who would accept this? I will not say a sane person. Even an insane person wouldn't accept this. Still this is how the Saudi mind deals with people.
They wanted the same thing to happen in Bahrain. They want the Bahrainis to give up. But the Bahraini people didn't surrender. Their scholars and symbols were arrested. They were displaced and besieged. Their associations were dissolved, but they didn't surrender. They continued their popular movement at a rational poised rate. This is a proof of their calm, balanced, strategic mind. The Saud dynasty was unable to bear this peaceful popular movement. What was their last bet? Let's talk about the essence of the issue. Their last bet was that they would leave them because in the end they would get sick of it and lose hope. Thus the issue would end by itself. There is neither dialogue nor reforms nor hope. It is absolute despair! The movement would halt and eventually come to an end.
That was the strategy of the Saud dynasty and the Khalifa dynasty. But they found that, after five years and a half, the movement is still on track in spite of arrests, imprisonments, house demolitions, and the deprivation of citizenship. At the end, they - especially the group ruling currently in Saudi Arabia - could not bear it any more. Since this king and his group came to power, war was waged on Yemen. This is at a time when (only) a day before the death of King Abdullah, the Ansarullah delegation was in Riyadh. There was an agreement on a political solution in Yemen. But when the new group came to power, the political solution was eliminated, and they went to war. In Syria, things were moving in a positive track, but they worked on reviving, financing, and announcing the war anew. In Iraq, the former King backed the war on Daesh, while the current group is not concerned. At least, I can say that he is not concerned with the war with Daesh in Iraq.
This is their performance and conduct. Consequently, the method adopted currently by this kingdom and this Saudi regime is a method of humiliation and subjugation to force the Yemenis, the Bahrainis, the Syrians, the Iraqis, and the Lebanese to succumb. Still all of this said: we won't surrender to the Saud dynasty or to the masters of the Saud dynasty. We won't succumb, we won't surrender, and we won't kneel before anyone but Allah Almighty. These are the shouts of the demonstrators who are gathering day and night before Sheikh Issa Qassem's home in Bahrain these days. Why is the town he is living in more like a big prison, and why is it besieged from all directions and no one is uttering a word? It's like a big prison.
What does that mean according to international law? They are afraid that the Bahrainis would reach this place. Should they reach there, the world would witness a different scene. Today, the Bahraini people, who were able to reach there and those who weren't too, expressed their viewpoint toward this act by saying "Sheikh Issa is a red line. We will not hand you in! We sacrifice our souls for your safety! How unpleasant life would be in this country without Issa Qassem!" This noble attitude from the Bahraini people and youth is normal and expected because the Bahrainis are the people of ardor, eagerness, sacrifices, loyalty, and obedience. They are the lovers and adorers of Abi Abdullah al-Hussein (Peace be upon him) who did not abandon him on the eve of the 10th of Muharram nor in the middle of the desert. This is the natural position.
Definitely I am not specifying a religious obligation to the Bahraini people. Scholars of Bahrain are those who decide religious obligations because what is happening in Bahrain is a real national movement. Sheikh Issa Qassem and Bahrain's scholars don't take orders from anyone. The subjects are the Khalifa dynasty who takes orders from the Saud dynasty and from the British commissioner in Manama. As for Sheikh Issa Qassem and the senior scholars in Bahrain, they themselves decide the ceiling and nature of their demands and movements. They themselves decide what to accept and what to refuse, and no one in this world dictates to them what to do. Nobody in the world even suggests to them what to do. Why? It's because these scholars are jurists who are knowledgeable of their time and experts in politics. They are loyal, honest, and brave. When people like the Bahrainis have a leadership like this one, they wouldn't need anyone in this world.
If there was a real national movement in Bahrain it is that led by Sheikh Issa Qassem. As for you, O' Khalifa dynasty, you are collaborators. You are the tiny dwarves who succumb to the British intelligence commissioner in Manama and obey the orders of small princes of the Saud dynasty. King Salman doesn't even talk to you. We know all of these minute details.
This is why scholars are the ones who should specify the religious obligation. They should decide every step, and the youth, people, and the loyal (ones) in Bahrain are concerned with adopting the scholars' decision and obeying and defending these decisions with their pure blood and bare chests if necessary. The world should assume the responsibility of preventing the implementation of this resolution, because this decision is not only a matter of depriving Sheikh Issa from his citizenship but also deporting him from his country.
The world must shoulder this responsibility. This is an extremely dangerous step. The wrong message conveyed not only to the Bahrainis but also to their friends around the world: there won't be any dialogue, any rights, any political horizon or hope. And then? Then everyone wouldn't be committed to this obligation and stance, and thus everyone would express his stance, conviction, and commitment as he finds fit. That's why the world must assume responsibility in this regard.
Brothers and sisters! In the ceremony held in honor of our martyr-leader, we tell him: you will remain alive in our minds, consciences, hearts, and souls, just like our other martyr-leaders - Sayyed Abbas, Sheikh Ragheb, Haj Imad, Haj Hassan, and all the leaders who preceded. With your blood, we will continue our path, we'll make accomplishments and achieve goals, and we will guard your wills no matter what the sacrifices are.
May Allah have mercy on the martyrs. We pray for a quick recovery for the wounded, pray for freedom for the prisoners, and for victory, blessings, and dignity to our people and nation. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
Source: al-Ahed News, Translated and Edited by website team