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Hassan Nasrallah: Trump Uses ISIS to Legitimize US Occupation of the Middle East
Speech of the Hezbollah Secretary General on January 20, 2018
English Transcript
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[...] As for regional issues, I’ll be brief. What happened during the last days proves conclusively what we and others have said during the early events in the region (in 2011) about American objectives. Well, yesterday, the US Secretary of State, [Rex] Tillerson, announced – it is not a Tweet from Trump: Tillerson spoke after a well-planned meeting with his entourage, an assessment of the situation, etc., this is not a mere Tweet; Trump himself may indeed publish (inconsiderate) Tweets -, (Tillerson) announced that US forces would remain in Iraq, and that US forces would remain in Syria (indefinitely).

Well, why do you want to stay in Iraq and Syria? In fact, when you created the international coalition, and came to Iraq and Syria at the time, you said that you did not intend to stay – see the hypocrisy of the United States -, you said that you did not intend to stay, that you were only coming to push back ISIS. And the people who have contributed the least to push back and defeat ISIS are you, the Americans. Well, now, what does (Tillerson) say? He said that the US forces and bases will remain in Iraq and Syria to prevent the return of ISIS. Magnificent.
I want to remind what we said a few years ago – you can check the archives. When we said – not just us, many have said it in the region – that the USA have created ISIS to have a pretext and an excuse to return their armed forces in the region, and especially in Iraq, after the people, the government and the heroic resistance of Iraq kicked them out, and after Iraqis refused that the Americans keep military bases and their soldiers and officers receive diplomatic immunity, (so) Obama decided to retreat.

Well, how do the Americans want the return to Iraq? They need an excuse to return to Iraq. They created ISIS to return to Iraq. And today, on the pretext of ISIS, they want to stay (indefinitely) in Iraq. Similarly, under the pretext of ISIS, they came to Syria, and on the pretext of ISIS, they want to stay (indefinitely) in Syria. As the whole world knows, as Trump himself acknowledged, it’s the United States that created ISIS.

Today I can say to the Americans, so that they do not mislead the public: you want ISIS not to come back? It is sufficient for you to not bring it back, and ISIS will not return. Do not ask your Gulf allies in the region to give ISIS money and weapons, and ISIS will not return. Do not ask countries around the world to provide all kinds of help to the takfiris to join ISIS, and ISIS will not return. Preventing ISIS to return to Iraq and Syria does not require US bases or US forces. Iraqis can take care of preventing ISIS to resurface. And the Syrians will take care to prevent ISIS to resurface. And the claims of the US Secretary of State are only lies, hypocrisy, deceit and deception against the peoples of the region, he fabricates spurious pretexts from thin air in order to maintain US forces and bases in the region, which is the real goal. Today, it is clear and obvious.

Of course, in Syria, the Syrian government announced its position, and it is clear that US forces did not coordinate with the Syrians. But in Iraq, it is unclear if the US government has an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep these bases. We have no information about it. Or is it that the Americans merely inform Irak and Iraqis that they will stay in their territory, without their consent or agreement, whether they like it or not? I consider it as one of the great challenges facing the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people and the Iraqi leaders and political forces :the United States want to impose again, on their conditions, their bases to the Iraqis under the pretext of ISIS. [...]

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