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Hezbollah: Iraqi cmdr. assassination in line with ongoing US aggression

Civil defense members gather at the site of a burned vehicle targeted by a US drone strike in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, on February 7, 2024. (Photo by AP)

Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has strongly condemned the US's assassination of a commander of an Iraqi anti-terror resistance group, noting that the targeted killing falls within Washington’s ongoing aggression and criminal practices across the region.

Hezbollah announced in a Thursday statement that the deadly aerial assault against Wissam Muhammad Saber, also known as Abu Baqer al-Saadi, and his companions is in continuation of the United States’ "previous crimes and relentless atrocities against Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni nations." 

Saadi, the commander in charge of Kata’ib Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, was assassinated on Wednesday night after a US drone strike hit a moving vehicle east of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Two other Kata’ib Hezbollah officials also lost their lives in the attack.

The Lebanese movement added that the attack also constituted a "flagrant violation" of Iraq’s sovereignty, security, and stability.

“The Axis of Resistance has complete confidence in Iraqi fighters, who are utterly determined to tread the path of resistance and continue their staunch support for oppressed Palestinian people," it said, adding, "This heinous assassination will certainly fortify their resolve to stay on the path."

Hezbollah also extended its deepest condolences to the Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah and wished patience and fortitude for the families and relatives of the fallen resistance fighters.

A funeral procession for al-Saadi is scheduled to be held on Friday in Najaf. 

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it had killed the “commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on US forces in the region.”

In a statement, Secretary-General of Kata’ib Hezbollah Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi extended congratulations and condolences to Saadi’s family and comrades as well as the entire Muslim Ummah over the commander’s martyrdom.

The assassination of Saadi “calls us to remain steadfast and keep a fighting spirit,” he noted.

For its part, the Iraqi government denounced the US assassination drone strike in Baghdad, saying the United States-led military coalition in the country is becoming a “factor for instability”.

Army spokesperson Yahya Rasool said on Thursday that repeated attacks by the US in Iraq are pushing the government to end the Western alliance’s mission.

Anti-US sentiments have been growing in the region over Washington’s unconditional support for Israel’s atrocious onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the coastal enclave, targeting hospitals, residences, and houses of worship, since Palestinian resistance movements launched a surprise attack, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm, against the regime on October 7.

At least 27,840 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children. Another 67,317 individuals have sustained injuries as well.

The United States, Israel’s biggest ally, has provided the regime with thousands of arms consignments since the initiation of the war.

The US House of Representatives on November 2 passed a standalone $14.3-billion military assistance package for Israel. The legislation, however, is yet to clear the Senate. 

Washington has also vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions that called on the occupying regime to cease its aggression.

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