Full speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, during the university students meeting held on Friday December 23, 2016.
I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil. In the Name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad, and on his chaste and pure Household, and on his chosen companions, and on all messengers and prophets.
Brothers and sisters in the central hall and in the various regions! Dear audience! Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
First let's organize the speech before we start. In this dear and blessed meeting, especially with the brothers and sisters, the university students, scholars, professors, and officials, I intend to divide my speech into two sections:
In the first section, I will tackle the political issue to seize the opportunity of television transmission on Al Manar and other TV stations, if any are broadcasting the speech, so that we do not take much of their time. First I will tackle the political file within the time limit. When we are done with the political file, the television transmission will be over, and we will then move to discussing the other issues that have to do with the university and students affairs, and my word to the students. In fact, this is not a private (affair) or secret which we do not want to broadcast; it is only that we do not want to take much of the time of TV stations. So the television transmission coverage will be limited to the political part.
Well, as per the political section, I would like to talk a bit about the situation in the region. Syria will be the main issue under the topic of the region, and while talking about Syria, I will move to give other evidences from what is taking place in the region such as in Yemen...Then, I will talk a little bit about the Lebanese internal situation. I do not have a lot to say about the internal situation because things are clear God willing. As such, the political section in out meeting will be over.
However, first allow me to renew my felicitations for you and for all the Lebanese, all Muslims, and all Christians on the glorious holidays and the great occasions which we have been witnessing for a period of time now.
A few days ago, we witnessed the occasion of the birthday of Prophet Mohammad bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his Household) - the Prophet of Divine Mercy sent for all people - and the anniversary of the birthday of his grandson Imam Ja'far bin Mohammad al-Sadiq (Peace be upon them) - the Teacher of the Imams. Moreover in a few days, we will witness Christmas - the birthday of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him), and these are great, glorious, and blessed days.
Furthermore, and also from the outset of my word, and taking into consideration the cold, snowy, stormy weather which we witness or which we may witness, I extend my regard and esteem to all the steadfast fighters, whether soldiers, officers, or resistance men in all fields, whether here on the southern front in the face of "Israel", or on the borders of Gaza in the face of the occupation, or on our eastern borderlines in the Bekaa in the face of the terrorist groups, or on all the confrontation lines in Syria, or in Iraq, or in Yemen, or any position in which fighters defend and fight in the face of all forms of concur, occupation, terrorism, and hegemony.
We extend all of our regards and esteem for these steadfast, patient men in the hardest natural conditions and the hardest military conditions, who are defending their countries and peoples so that people live a good, secure, and peaceful life in their cities and villages.
Before moving on to my word on Syria, I will start with the general situation in the region and our situation, and starting likewise from the anniversary of the birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household), I will tackle a primary and essential issue: Islam as a religion and the Prophet of Islam, had never throughout all of history been subjected to this level of abuse and distortion on the media level, the popular level, and on the level of stances, as has happened in the past few years. That's because of the magnitude of events, deviations, and violations, and also because of the power of the media, which is able to deliver the news, the image, or the word to every house in the world within seconds or minutes.
Before these six years, we used to face campaigns of distortion of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) manifested in movies and caricatures or some books such as "Satanic Verses". However, unfortunately, for six years, we came to be before a different scene. There is no need to take much of your time because we have much to say. However, it is enough to recall in our mind all what has been perpetrated over these six years by the hands of the terrorist Takfiri armed groups who claim that they are Islamists. They claim to be affiliated to the Prophet of Allah Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his Household) and write on their banners and flags (There is no god but Allah; Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah). The worst among them is Daesh which puts on its banners the so called seal of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household). This is what is written in the middle of the circle: (Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah).
See what these who unjustly and unfairly claim this affiliation have perpetrated. See the killing, the slaughter, the captivation, the burning in cages or in chains, the mass massacres, the destruction of every cultural heritage - whether Islamic, Christian, or nonreligious - and of everything historic, of cultural heritage, and of everything that is related to human beings, buildings, history, and culture. During the past years, we witnessed a comprehensive massacre - it is a massacre on the human, cultural, intellectual, moral, psychological, and moral levels.
What we have witnessed in the past few years - the variety of killing means, drowning in water, stabbing chests, crucifying, beheading, cutting of hands - is terrible. These scenes have been absent from the eyes of the world for hundreds of years. However, these (groups) are offering all the terrible examples in the name of Islam and the Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him and His Household).
This lays a religious responsibility on the first hand as well as a historical and moral responsibility on all Muslims around the world - on their scholars, intellectuals, journalists, professors, university students, and common people. Every Muslim man and woman, everyone who can say a word, everyone who can write a phrase, everyone who has a social communication network and can express his stance, must assume this responsibility of refusing and condemning these crimes and disavowing these terrible atrocities. It is the responsibility of shouting in face of the whole world to say: O Muslims and non-Muslims in the whole world! These atrocities have nothing to do with Islam. They have nothing to do with the Religion of Allah, the Prophet of Allah Mohammad (Peace be upon him and His Household), the Household of the Prophet (Peace be upon them), and the companions of the Prophet. That's because these (groups) are trying to justify their crimes with the chaste companions, and this is a very great abuse and insult to the companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household). This refusal, condemnation, and denunciation must be on an incessant daily and hourly basis. It must be seen whenever a crime is committed. It is not enough to say we have denounced a month or a two or a year ago the so and so crime. Whenever a crime is perpetrated, every detail must be condemned. This is the responsibility of everyone.
He who is silent over these abuses is a partner in opening the way before the distortion of Islam and the Prophet of Islam and the divine religions and even to Allah Almighty - the Lord of this religion and the Revealer of these divine books. This is a grave and major responsibility. This is the least obligation on every Muslim man and woman who can express their stance, especially with the presence and availability of social communication means and the internet. Everyone is able to express his viewpoint. At times, social media outlets are crowded with silly, trivial, insignificant issues. However, such crucial, dangerous, critical issues are neglected and omitted.
In this framework, I will tackle quickly three events which took place in the past few days and move directly after them to talk about Aleppo and Syria.
The first issue is commemorating the birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household). Now people use the terms the anniversary of the birthday or the Eid or the Day of the Birth of the Prophet. What is meant with any of these terms is obvious. That's because when we talk about the Eid, we do not talk about it with its jurisprudential aspects on which jurisprudential implications would follow. For example, when we say the Independence Day or the Day of Liberation and Resistance, we do not mean that it is a jurisprudential day on which it is favorable to do such and such while so and so is prohibited as is the case of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha... Well, people are flexible with terms and names that they use.
This intellect which stands behind these groups and the ideology of these groups - meaning the Wahhabi intellect, not to remain hiding behind our fingers - wants to impose itself by force on the Muslims of the world. The Wahhabi intellect does not recognize the Holy Birthday of the Prophet. They label it as a heresy and a sacrilege. Some of their senior scholars went to the extent that they reject and consider all those who celebrate it as atheists who must be killed or apostates. Well, my brother! This is your viewpoint which does not rely on any proof. This is your jurisprudence.
Well, the rest of Muslims, whether Sunnis or Shiites and others, say that this celebration is permissible, preferable, and virtuous. It revives Islam and the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household). They have their evidences. Why do you want to impose your convictions and intellect on the rest of the Muslims? We witnessed in the past few years, suicide bombers who detonated themselves in celebrations - not those held by Shia who lament Hussein but rather in celebrations of Sunnis who are celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household). Is there an intellect which is darker and more savage than this intellect?
Well, my brother! This is your own jurisprudence. Let it be. In the Islamic world, in the Islamic nation, in the Islamic world, it is acceptable to find several varying jurisprudences. No one is able to impose his personal intellect or his personal sect or jurisprudential track on a billion and a half Muslims.
Still, there is a side - the Wahhabi current - which wants to impose its intellect with the power of arms and suicide bombers. This is similar to what took place in past years when al Qaeda and the Takfiri current gave a legal opinion that anyone who partakes in elections - whether municipal elections or parliamentary elections or presidential elections - is an atheist and a heretic who might be killed. For this reason, they killed people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Nigeria, and other places around the globe. They killed them just because they went to cast their vote, saying this was heresy, atheism, and apostasy, and anyone who does that must be killed.
Well, why is this battle taking place? Now, in the past few weeks, we noticed grinding wars on TV stations, some Arab satellite channels, and websites. It is as if in the Islamic world, we do not have the causes of Palestine, the sanctities, violence, and terrorism in many of the countries or millions of displaced....We only have one cause which is whether we are to celebrate the Birthday of the Prophet or not. Speeches were given, hours were spent, tough attacks were launched on those who celebrate the Birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household).
If these who celebrate the Birthday of the Prophet are atheists to them, what is then the case of these who celebrate Christmas and the birthday of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him)? We must understand where things would lead.
The second example is what we witnessed in the past few days. We all know that days ago a small girl went to a police office in Damascus, and either she detonated herself or was detonated by remote control. I do not know what exactly took place, but what is sure for certain and what was tackled in the media as definite is that an explosive belt was placed on a child and guided to enter the police office. If they convinced her, and she detonated herself, this would be a very grave calamity, and if they detonated her without her knowing, this would be a very grave calamity too - without saying which is graver. Then in the past couple of days, we saw that man on TV. True, this is a detail but this detail comes in the framework of this intellectual and cultural atmosphere and phenomenon. The man with that long beard was talking to two young girls who were wearing hijab but looked to be terrified to death. They were not able to answer him. They were speechless when he was asking them: Aren't you going to Allah, my dear? Who told you that you are sending her to Allah? Where are you sending her?
Here I want to pose a question as a while ago I was saying that it is our obligation to shout loudly with the truth today. This is my personal viewpoint. I am not an authority or a mufti. I am just offering my viewpoint. It is an obligation on every Muslim in the world who can speak out, has internet, has a newspaper, has a radio station, or has a TV station to condemn this criminal, savage, barbaric killer who sends his girls and children to execute suicide attacks in the name of Allah, in the name of Islam, and in the name of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household). Now apart from whether one of these two girls was the one who went or not, this expresses the culture which has become acceptable in certain milieus in the nation. By the way, this is not new. In Nigeria, Boko Haram - which is the sister of Daesh, al Qaeda, and Wahhabism - exploited scores of small girls and detonated them in markets, churches, and mosques, and hundreds of Nigerians were martyred because of such suicide attacks.
Mustn't this be condemned? Doesn't this require a loud cry? Is there a mind, a heart, a religion, or any divine thing that might accept sending a young boy or girl to detonate herself or himself or for you to detonate him or her by remote control? This is really terrible. In the past, we used to read in some of the speeches of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) of deaf and blind ordeals which turn adults into elderly (people), turn the hair of the young to white, and exhaust believers until they die and meet their Lord. We did not use not to understand what this ordeal is. However, there it is before our eyes! This is the ordeal that turns adults into elderly (people). He who is forty or fifty or sixty feels as if he is 200 years old. This ordeal turns the hair of the young into white and exhausts the believer until he dies and meets his Lord. The heart of every believer and every Muslim and every human being who cares about Islam and the Prophet of Islam burns when he sees these savage brutal Takfiris. These killers are offending this religion, this Prophet, and Allah Almighty through these crimes and this brutality.
Well, the third event is what we saw yesterday - the burning of two caged Turkish soldiers to death. They were burnt with fire while the camera was taking footage of the event. Indeed, media outlets did not broadcast everything though Daesh put on the internet the entire footage of the burning until they turned to ashes. They were happy about it, while one of them speaking in the Turkish language issues threats and intimidations in the name of Islam to convey the message.
Indeed, the Turkish Army today is unfortunately on the other side. However, this does not prevent us from condemning this atrocious killing as we did before when Daesh burnt the Jordanian pilot and when it previously burnt Iraqi soldiers and civilians and in other places it did that too while bragging about that.
Well, this is the third incident. Doesn't this require a full stand of denunciation? This is done in the name of Islam. Is this what Islam says? Which religion, sect, jurisprudence, or scholar with little knowledge accepts that this be done in the name of Islam?
In this framework, brothers and sisters, I have the following to say:
First, we must denounce and condemn, refuse, and raise our voice with no shame or considerations whenever a similar incident is perpetrated, whether the victim of such atrocities is one of us or even those who are in the other camp and are fighting us.
Second, I would like that the following point be taken into consideration as it requires much effort. Muslims, non-Muslims, all media outlets, all men of intellect, all writers and even ordinary people must take into consideration what I will highlight on the anniversary of the Birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household). This is heard in media outlets - for example, Islamic terrorism. Trump now deafens us with Islamic terrorism; the entire West talks about Islamic terrorism; the Arab media is following their steps pace by saying radical Islam, terrorist Islamic groups, the radical Islamist groups, the fanatic Islamic groups.
The western media and some Arab media outlets insist on saying Daesh while they can use this acronym. They rather say the Islamic State Organization. Now university people, professors, educational psychologists, and those who work in the media and psychological warfare know what it means when for over six years people are being burnt to death, children are being slaughtered, women are being taken as captives, heads are being decapitated, and chests are being stabbed while accompanied with the cry of "Allahu Akbar", Islam, the Islamic movement, the Islamic state, Islam, Islam.... Some people are unaware of this, whereas with others, it is part of the conspiracy against Islam, and acting as accomplices against Islam, and part of targeting Islam.
We must be very much aware and cautious with the terms we use. There is nothing called the Islamic State Organization though some Arab satellites insist on using this name. In the West, all of them say: the Islamic State Organization. Well, there is something called Daesh; there is nothing called extremist, radical, terrorist Islamic groups. There are terrorist groups. There are extremist Takfiri groups.
There is nothing called terrorist Islam. There is a contradiction between Islam and terrorism. There is contradiction between Islam and extremism. There is nothing called extremist Islam. Islam is one Islam; it is the Islam of the Quran, it is the Islam of Mohammad bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his Household). We make this demand on non-Muslims too.
For example, see how we act as a result of awareness in the Islamic world. Well, the American army perpetrated massacres as atrocious as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not only that, over the past years since 2001 up until today, hundreds of thousands were killed by the American army and the American Air Force in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and other places. Still no Muslim used terms such as the Christian US Army, Christian terrorism, extremist Christianity, Christian terrorism, the American Christian state....We rather say the American state, the American Army, the terrorist groups... We exalt the name of Christ (Peace be upon him), the name of Christianity, the Christian religion, and Christians and deem it far above from having such criminal killers - who are Christians after all - from being affiliated to it - just as Daesh, al Nusra, and al Qaeda who are Muslims.
Even as per Judaism, we never used the term the Jewish Army. We do not say the Jewish State.... We say the Zionist entity, the Zionist Army, the terrorist Zionist gangs... However, unfortunately, today the entire world may say the terrorist Islamists, the terrorist Islam, the extremist Islam, and things go unnoticed. However, should anyone say Jews, Judaism, the Jewish Army, or the Jewish state, he would be anti-Semitic, and he would be tried in Europe. In France, he would be tried too as was the case with Roger Garoudy.
Well, we call on the rest of the world to act as we do. Let's exalt the names of the divine religions, the prophets, and the followers of the divine religions from attributing these atrocious crimes to them. Let's attribute them to their perpetrators and label them as brutal, criminal terrorists, whether they are Muslims as Daesh or Christians as some conquering armies or Jews as the Jewish "Israeli" Army, without saying Islam, Christianity, or Judaism, or Muslims, Christians, or Jews. This is required now.
And the last thing in this perspective is a call for the states that are providing all kinds of support to these terrorists - that it's not too late. They can still make it and stop this sponsorship, support, and facilitations.
See what took place in Jordan in Kark when martyrs fell among the Jordanian soldiers and Jordanian civilians. There were casualties even among tourists due to the atrocities and crimes of Daesh.
O' Jordanian government: Mustn't you take warning from what is perpetrated? Mustn't you learn? You are sponsoring the armed groups which have the same ideology. You may say this is not Daesh; still they have the same mentality. Those whom you are sponsoring and offering support and facilitations in Jordan and on the Jordanian borders under the pretext of fighting the regime in Syria - they will kill you, blow you up, and kill your police and civilians, because in their mind and culture you are atheists who must be killed and annihilated.
Till when will these states which are sponsoring terrorism and the terrorist groups remain overlooking and neglecting what is taking place due to considerations with Saudi Arabia and the US while exposing their national security and the future of their regimes to danger?
See Turkey too. The whole world knows that Turkey, the Turkish government, or the ruling party in Turkey provided Daesh with support it did not provide any state in the world with, and this does not require any evidence. The evidence is clear. You can go to the websites on the internet and search for Joe Biden's speech in one of the US universities when he was referring to a dialogue between him and Erdogan. You can notice that the Americans are with supporting Daesh but within limits so that it would not grow beyond control. He told Erdogan that the Turks were supporting Daesh more than what was required by opening the borders before them, providing them with facilitations... However Erdogan said that was not the case. However, later what did Joe Biden say? He said that after some time Erdogan confessed that was wrong.
Does anyone argue that Turkey offered facilitations for Daesh;s entrance into Iraq and Syria? So it is not only Syria but rather Iraq and Syria. Does anyone argue that the weapons, capacities, thousands of fighters who came from around the world, money, the selling of oil, and the selling of ancient antiques, pass through the Turkish borders?
However, Turkey today is burning in the fire of Daesh inside Turkey and in the north of Syria.
So far, the Turks are not taking heed with what is taking place, though they are fighting Daesh in the north of Syria and supporting it in the north of Iraq! This is political manipulation which observes no religious values, human values, moral values, or even strategic considerations.
There are only political considerations and grudges and a kind of radicalism.
In fact, yesterday, the news reported that the Turkish government censored social communication sites so that the Turkish people would not see the scene of the two burning soldiers. Is its heart burning for the two soldiers or does it not want the Turkish people to see the repercussions of its policies, and does not want the Turkish people to see the fact of Daesh which was supported and armed by Erdogan, who also bought oil and ancient antiques from it and opened the border before it so that it does with the Turkish soldiers and the Turkish people what it is doing?
Anyway, the Turkish government is now required to take a decisive stance from Daesh. The political game is over, whether in Raqqa or in Mosul, or in the north of Iraq. It is called on to step out of these double standards manifested in it fighting Daesh in Bab City and supporting it in Mosul. This is not in the interest of Turkey and in the interest of the Turkish people, and in the interest of the Turkish soldiers and army.
Now we will move to Syria. We want to take our time a bit to talk about Aleppo and the general situation in Syria because for a period of time we have not talked about Syria. We used to always to talk about the Lebanese local situation.
As per Syria, Aleppo, and the latest developments, I have several points to say:
The first point: the people followed the news over the past few months regarding the events, confrontations, wars, fights, and other developments in Aleppo. However, if we were to depict a comprehensive scene from inside the field, I would like to tell you and the dear watchers that what took place in Aleppo during the past few three or four months was a real war. In fact, it was one of the fiercest wars witnessed in Syria and even the region for years. What took place was not something normal at all.
The states which sponsor the armed groups brought along tens of thousands of fighters. The battles which erupted in west Aleppo, in south Aleppo - meaning in the west of the city and in its southern rural area with these armed groups were not only with the Syrian opposition groups. There were also very huge numbers of Turks, Uzbeks, Tajikistanis, Chechens, and Central Asians fighting there. Those who partook in the battles in the past few months were tens of thousands, including hundreds of suicide bombers who detonated themselves in all confrontations. In fact, they were not one suicide bomber or two, but rather ten and twenty at a time.
Indeed, here when I say suicide bomber, I do not mean someone holding a bomb; rather he would ride a tank or troop carrier loaded with 3, 4, or 5 tons of explosives. He would storm into the confrontation lines and into the first buildings where the Syrian soldiers and the other fighters would be positioned. Now imagine the scene when the suicide bombers storm in with vehicles loaded with tons of explosives. Can you see the extent of steadfastness and perseverance? Hundreds of ‘involvers' - suicide bombers who storm positions - qualitative arms, enormous capacities, money, tanks, troop carriers, vehicles loaded with arms, weapons....
In fact, Aleppo is not an easy topic like any other battle. No this battle is years long, though its last months were continuous daily wars and incessant pressure. The first day the first (wave) of attacks are defeated. The second day the second (wave) of attacks are defeated. The third day the third (wave) of attacks are defeated. The fourth day the fourth (wave) of attacks are defeated. You feel that groups and groups of fighters - as if they have no father and mother - are brought along from around the world to be killed there.
The following point is that the armed groups justified their defeat in Aleppo battle as a whole. That's because we do not talk here only about a defeat in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo. It is rather a battle that covered Aleppo as a whole: the eastern neighborhoods, west Aleppo, and the southern rural areas. They justified their defeat with the magnitude of support saying that the states which sponsor it turned it down, did not support it, and abandoned it, and this is wrong, untrue, and baseless.
The magnitude of support which was provided in Aleppo city from within and without on behalf of these states, whether the facilitations, the mobilization of foreign fighters, the capacities, the money, and the arms, is very huge and enormous.
Here let me say something as per Syria as a whole. With the confession of Joe Biden, Clinton, and the Americans, the money which was spent in Syria is hundreds of billions of dollars. Tens of thousands of tons of arms and ammunition were brought along to Syria. Allow me to compare that to the support given to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance. The money, the arms, the ammunition, and the support on the material, logistic, media, and political levels provided by the world and the Arab states - because most of the money comes from the Arab states -for the war on Syria over six years is much more than tens of times - in fact it is incomparable - to the support the Arab world provided the Palestinian people with over sixty years. Do the calculations: the money, the weapons, the ammunition, the political support, the conferences.... How many ‘friends of Syria' conferences were held? Even in words it is incomparable. How many conferences did they hold for Palestine over 60 years and how many conferences were held for the terrorist groups in Syria over six years?
The truth is that the states supporting terrorism in Syria did not fall behind in providing support with arms, ammunition, money, politics, sieges, sanctions, media instigation, lies, deception, and factional and sectarian ordeals. Well, what these states did not do is that they did not dispatch the Saudi Army, the Qatari Army, or the so and so army to fight in Syria. They spared their children; however, the Turks are now involved and started receiving the pangs of their involvement. Turkish men are now being killed in Syria and even burnt to death on Syrian territories by the hands of those they sponsored and supported.
The magnitude of the support offered to the armed groups in Syria so far is unmeasured. See the battle in Afghanistan. See the money, the arms, the training, the ammunition, and the political, media, religious, and cultural support which were offered to Afghanistan over long years; that is also nothing compared to what was offered to the war on Syria over six years.
Thus the defeat they were inflicted with in Syria was not the result of poor support to the armed groups but rather because the leadership, the army, the people, the allies, and the resistance fighters in Syria insisted that they do not want to give up. We will confront and prevent the control of Daesh, al Nusra and the terrorists on Syria. They have the insight, the understanding of the scheme, the will to fight, and the determination to achieve victory, and this is what took place.
The third point is that during the battles in Aleppo and especially in the past few months, much was said. As part of the battle and consequently part of the accusation, we are all concerned in clarifying what took place.
Much was said about this battle. There was much media misguidance and many lies. For example, images from the southern suburb (of Beirut) during the July War (2006) were used and portrayed by Arab and global media that these were from Aleppo. (Images) of massacres that Israel committed during the July War (2006) were portrayed as being from Aleppo. (Images) of destruction and massacres were used from the Gaza wars which Israel had waged, and they were presented as being from Aleppo. And what's worse than that - allow me to say what's worse and more painful than that - was that the children of Yemen were used. There is an (ongoing) debate whether children in Aleppo died of starvation or not? At the very least go carry out an investigation. We say no (there wasn't). Go carry out an investigation.
However, the whole world knows that thousands of children in Yemen are dying every hour of starvation and disease. This has been occurring for one and a half years. The cause is the Saudi siege and war on Yemen, and the (Saudi) bombardment of everything in Yemen, hospitals, centres, pharmacies, schools, homes etc. The children of Yemen are dying before the eyes of the world. Not that we need to put together a film from Gaza and say this is Aleppo, or from the Dahieh (of Beirut) and say this is Aleppo. The whole world can see that these children are Yemenis, they are speaking with the Yemeni accent, these images are coming from Yemen, that have been (publicised) by international organisations. And rather than all those who claim they are honourable, humanitarian, and (care for) human rights and have (deep concern) for people, rather than (such people) speaking the word of truth in the face of those who are killing and besieging the people of Yemen, and killing the children of Yemen through starvation and disease, (rather), they use the images of the children of Yemen to say these are the children of Aleppo, dying of starvation and disease. And films were put together, enacted, and produced, all being tied to Aleppo. There was talk of 300,000 (people) besieged in Aleppo - okay Aleppo is over, where are the 300,000? In any case, perhaps journalists - if someone can make time for this, or a particular side - can only make a documentary (film) to see for us Al-Arabiyah (Tv), Al-Jazeera, and other Arab satellite (channels), and CNN, BBC, and others, see what they said about Aleppo (during the last) 3 months (of the battle), and (on the other hand), see what became apparent after the liberation of Aleppo. So that the extent of forgery and deception can become apparent (for people) - of course we are not saying there was a walk in the park in Aleppo, after all there was a war in Aleppo, there was fighting, a tough, bloody battle, yet what was being fabricated and said has no basis whatsoever. And we must benefit from this experience so that people do not fall for media deception.
Fourth: On the humanitarian level too, for over a week, we have been witnessing civilians leaving from the east of Aleppo as well as militants with their personal arms. Indeed, some may say that defending the regime in Syria is none of my business. Now this is one battle. Whether it is my business or not, allow me to say the following: I want to ask you and to ask all the people and the entire world: name one city which Daesh controlled or besieged, or the Nusra Front controlled, or these Takfiri groups entered, and allowed the civilians to get out from it safe and sound or allowed the fighters who were fighting in it to get out safe and sound, not with their personal arms, but (even just) unarmed. Name one city. Give me one example. I challenge the entire world to give me one example in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Libya, in Nigeria, and in everywhere where these (groups) are fighting. Give me one example where they were triumphant and the battle was over and still they agreed to make an agreement and open the way for civilians and fighters to emerge with their arms.
These are those whom America, the West, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and all the moderate, democratic, opposition groups which are calling for democracy in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen are supporting; whereas the ‘savage' regime in Syria accepts to make an agreement and let people emerge safe and sound, not only in Aleppo. This also took place in Homs in the old city which was besieged. A settlement would be sealed in every city or town where the people and the armed troops would agree to do so.
In Khan Shih, they fought until they got frustrated. Finally, they said they wanted a settlement. The regime could have said that it did not want to make a settlement. I want to enter, kill, destroy, crush, and settle the issue militarily. However, before the settlement was sealed, a large number of militants handed in their arms and remained. The people remained and the residents stayed. Some people went to Idlib. For your information, some militants who went to Idlib returned to settle their statuses with the regime.
This takes place in the cities, the towns, and the villages. Where is the war there? You are saying the regime is barbaric? Name a war which was waged by some of these Arab regimes and when they emerged victorious in a town or a city, they would accept to seal a settlement. Let's bear witness to that. Let's say a rightful word.
Foaa and Kefraya have been besieged for almost two years. They are defending themselves, and they are being defended from outside. A settlement is being sought. There is a total humanitarian file, let's address it together: Madaya, Zabadani - Foaa Kefraya. They do not agree. They hardly accept addresses similar to the recent address when 1200 to 1300 men, women, children, elderly, sick, and wounded were allowed to leave Foaa and Kefraya. Still and unfortunately, on the last nights they arrested them as captives which is contrary to the promise, the agreement, the commitment, and the word they gave. Why? That's because they want captives. So the example of Aleppo must be taken into consideration as we are talking about Aleppo.
The last point in the Syrian issue is the lies which were fabricated on demographic changes. They are accusing the regime as well as us of causing demographic changes. Where are the demographic changes in Syria?
Well, in Khan Shih, the residents remained in it. The residents of Damascus remained in it. The neighborhood of Damascus still houses its people. The residents of Aleppo are still in Aleppo. The same applies to west Aleppo. As for east Aleppo, its people will return to it as most people returned to most of the cities.
Who wants to make demographic changes in Syria? Well, perhaps we can say there is the exception of Darayya as a result of the security situation. However, it seems that its residents will return to it at any time.
As for the settlement in Foaa and Darayya which I am talking about, we are saying that the residents of Foaa and Kefraya want to go out and the residents of Madaya want to stay. The residents of Zabadani would return. Neither the regime nor the allies of the regime want to make demographic changes in Syria. In fact, it is the armed troops who are making demographic changes in Syria. Go to the areas which the armed groups control. Do you find followers of other religions? Do you find followers of other sects? Do you find followers of other political tracks? Who caused the demographic change then? Was it the regime or the militants and the armed troops? They did not cause a demographic change on a religious, sectarian, and factional basis only, but also on political basis. In the regions controlled by the armed troops, if there is a Sunni who disagrees with them or with their organization, he would be killed, expelled, or displaced. Isn't this what took place with Daesh and Nusra? Isn't this what took place with the militants? As for the areas controlled by the regime, there are no demographic changes.
Now we reached the last point in the Syrian topic after which we will move to the Lebanese topic.
If we want to give a description for the Battle of Aleppo - now (here) we don't want to exaggerate or anything, we want to be realistic. We don't want to (play down) the achievement, nor do we want to exaggerate it. By (playing down) I mean saying that no everything is normal, it was just another battle of the (many) battles of Syria. So we don't want to (play down) its value too much, nor say that the conflict is over in Syria. No, this is an exaggeration. However, we can say that it is a huge defeat - one of the great defeats for the other project, the other axis, and a huge victory for this front that is defending and confronting terrorism. And simply put, it is a big and highly important development on the military, political, and moral levels for our front. Let's understand the scene more? Suppose - God forbid - Aleppo fell into the hands of the armed groups. What would have been the situation today on the military, political, moral, and media (levels). Where would the world have been? I want to suppose the opposite here, like what we use to say about the 2006 (war) - if the resistance in Lebanon was defeated, what would have happened to Lebanon and the region. If Aleppo had fell into their hands, what would have happened? The fact that this didn't happen is alone one of the greatest achievements of the regaining of Aleppo. It does not mean the end of the conflict, (nor) that the conflict has been decided...correct.
However, there is something related to the high-end results of the Battle of Aleppo, which I also want to be clear about, and that is...you see there are two projects, or two levels in the project, or two objectives. There is an objective called the toppling of the regime. And there is an objective called taking control over all of Syria. They may topple the regime - God forbid - but not take control over all of Syria, because some regions may remain obstinate to them for instance. Just as what happens usually in states, the result being a long civil war. However, the objective of toppling the regime would have been achieved. Thus there are two aims, there is toppling the regime, which is a necessary prerequisite to taking control over all of Syria, which is a higher objective. Today, following (the regaining of) Aleppo, one can say with confidence that the objective of toppling the regime...has fallen. This objective has fallen. This objective failed. This program has failed in achieving its objective. Why?
Because the regime, which has Damascus, and which has Aleppo - you can say this now - which has Damascus, and Aleppo, the two biggest cities in Syria - keeping in mind the populations Damascus and Aleppo - and which has Homs, and the city of Hama, and Lattakia, Tartus, Al-Suwayda, and, and, and...this regime is present and strong, and active, and no one in the world can ignore it, or claim that this regime is finished or has fallen. And this is one of the great political implications for the victory of Aleppo.
Now the victory of Aleppo does not mean that the scheme of destroying Syria has fallen and that the scheme of the war on Syria is over, because these people are continuing (their work).
Hereof, I want to say that we are before a new stage of the conflict in Syria. Our front is advancing in a very sweeping manner. It advanced via its achievements and victories. However, the responsibility and the confrontation are still big. The next stage must concentrate on consolidating the city of Aleppo and its surrounding areas along with its security and stability, because it is certain that the armed groups will work to target the city and the surrounding areas of the city. The sponsors who do not have any problem as they only pay money, purchase arms and bring along fighters from around the world, will not give in and give up. Thus we and everyone must be alert. The priority must be consecrating this achievement to be taken into consideration on the level of the battlefield as well as politically. On the other hand, the victory of Aleppo must open new horizons before political solutions and political settlements.
The victory of Aleppo and the defeat of the other axis may push some states to be more realistic and to view things in another perspective. So far, the political solution has been crippled by the Americans, the Saudis and many others because they are ignorant of the popular and battlefield realities. Aleppo changed much of the popular and battlefield realities, and this must be taken into consideration in the battlefield. Indeed, this achievement is for all those who fought, remained steadfast, and offered sacrifices in Aleppo, whether Syrians or allies. However, as one of the allies allow me to say that after the will of Allah Almighty, the virtue is for the Syrians themselves - the Syrian leadership, the Syrian Army, and the Syrian people - who took the decision to remain steadfast and to confront. Had the Syrians themselves - the Syrian leadership and the Syrian Army and the Syrian people - not taken such a decision, what would all the allies be able to do? The allies are a complementary factor, an auxiliary factor...However, the main factor is the Syrians themselves. This is their country. This is their fate. This is their future, and they are making the future of their country and even the future of the entire region.
Before talking about the Lebanese situation, I have a quick word on Bahrain, because what took place there a couple of days ago unfortunately indicates that the Bahraini government is not acting rationally and is still insisting on perpetrating stupidities. It was about to commit a stupidity yesterday had not the Bahraini youth as well as the residents of Daraz and the neighboring towns confronted the police who tried to attack the house of His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem. This is evidence that the Bahraini youth and people did not give up and did not and will not hand in their leader. Again I call on this government in Bahrain to act rationally and not to take things to the limit that would make it feel very much remorse along with those who support and push it to commit this stupidity.
As per the situation in Lebanon, indeed the government was formed. Praise be to Allah. At least it did not take two months, three months, six months, or 11 months for the government to be formed. This is a positive point, and as I said in my previous speech, that in fact no one wanted to cripple the formation of the government. Everyone wants the government to be formed; however, there is a conflict which is a normal one, over this portfolio and that portfolio, and on the representation of this side or not - well, this is over now.
As for the ministerial policy statement, I believe that it is assumed that it would not face difficulties and complexities. Things are moving towards being smooth and easy going God willing, and intentions seem to be good and kind. Thus the effort is now exerted towards the electoral law. However, allow me to say that the government that will achieve the ministerial statement and the government that will definitely receive the vote of confidence of the council - because most of the parliamentary blocs are represented in this government - is not allowed to consider itself an electoral government only for five or six months. Should there be a technical extension for two months or three, that means this government's tenure might be six, seven, or eight months. So this government must assume all of its responsibilities towards the Lebanese people on the security, economic, political, living, social, and construction level. The deprived areas and the causes of the people must have their share of its interest too. So this government or any side in the government are not allowed to justify their inefficiency or shortage by saying that we are not responsible and we are an ‘election government' only. Well, yes one of the priorities of this government is to make the elections; still, it is a fully responsible government with full authorities and it must assume full responsibility.
Now we move to the electoral law. Indeed we back total proportionality. However, at the same time, we call for a comprehensive dialogue among all the political forces in Lebanon. We also understand the fears of some sides and the worries of others, and this must be taken into consideration. Here again, I would like to say something as per the electoral law which we always used to say. As for us in particular and especially after the election of the president and the formation of the government, some people went back to saying the ‘government of Hizbullah' as they used to say under the tenure of Premier Najib Mikati.
Well, if the government of Najib Mikati is that of Hizbullah, and the government of Premier Saad Hariri is that of Hizbullah, what then? Anyway, still, that is not true and not inaccurate. It is not true because it can't be either the government of Hizbullah or a government conspiring against Hizbullah. There is a third solution, a fourth solution, a fifth solution...
It was always said that Hizbullah wants to control the country, the joints of the country...What joints, what country, what government, and what ministries do we want to control? These are fake accusations behind which some incapable and neglectful sides hide.
Here I reiterate by saying that we do not want to control the country, and I am ready to make an oath. Should all the political forces and parties tell Hizbullah (and not the Shiite duo): Choose a premier from among you and all the ministers from among you. We agree on this and on you running the country and addressing its crises. We will tell them: Thanks. By God do not approach us with such an offer. That's because no rational person accepts to run a country all by himself. It is not the story of abstention. Even rationally, no one accepts to assume the responsibility of a country with such difficulties and accumulations. The debt is over 100 billion dollars. Taking into consideration the status quo in the region, who would think of controlling or ruling or running a country even if we put the morals and abstention aside?
So I hope that no one in Lebanon would still think in this way and with the mentality of us controlling the country. We really and truly want partnership - the partnership of all sides. We used to fight - along with others - for the formation of a national unity government. We used to fight for the representation of all sides in any government. That's not because we want to control the country but because the choice, fate, and interest of this country is in the participation of all sides.
Thus going back to the electoral law, we back a comprehensive dialogue among all political forces. So we want to combine between the most ideal and the most perfect electoral law, while at the same time, we want to take into consideration the fears and worries to try to reach somewhere; however, for sure not to return to the 1960 electoral law.
As for the country in the coming stage, people are discussing the electoral law. I want to assure you that what I know is that it seems the atmosphere of the discussions is good and positive and open. It is apparent that things are not complicated as they were two years ago or a year and a half ago when we used to carry out similar discussions. It is obvious that people want to reach an outcome. That means that our country God willing is entering into a stage of political stability and stability on the security level, and this is an opportunity for meeting and working together. This is a good result while waiting for the next parliamentary elections which we must all be concerned with. However, we must still be cautious on the security level because the terrorist groups are wrathful because of their defeat and failure, and also on the political level for fear that some still think that they are living on conflicts, wars, and internal struggles.
As we always used to say, the future of this country hinges on the cooperation of all sides and mutual understanding among all sides. This is what we call for on this occasion.