Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Hezbollah was ready to pull its forces from Iraq after defeating the Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) group, Al-Masdar News reports.
“IS has suffered the required defeat and there is no need for the presence of this number of leaders and fighters of Hezbollah in Iraq,” Nasrallah said. Hezbollah fighters leaving Iraq would, therefore “return to join any arena that requires them to do so,” the group’s leader added. Nasrallah stated that “history can record the end of IS,” with the liberation of the Syrian town of Boukamal.
Speaking the day after an Arab League meeting in Cairo once again defined Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Nasrallah called Hezbollah an “essential partner in establishing stability and security in Lebanon.” He denied it sending weapons, not even “a gun,” to Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait or “any Arab country.”
Nasrallah’s declarations came at a time of escalating tensions between regional rivals Iran – a Hezbollah ally – and Saudi Arabia, exacerbated by the Yemeni war and the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Riyadh on November 4. Hariri, a Saudi ally, resigned accusing Iran and Hezbollah of meddling in the affairs of Arab states.