Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches
By Staff, Agencies
This is the first time that the July 2006 war is being commemorated in the absence of the martyred commander who knew its every detail and lived through its perils. He was there alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed as well as the leaders overseeing the course of the war. But today, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, is strongly present in spirit.
Member of Hezbollah Central Council His Eminence Sheikh Nabil Qaouk recalls the role Hajj Qassem played during the war. In an exclusive with Al-Ahed News, he makes some interesting revelations.
“The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” he said.
According to Sheikh Qaouk, “Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.”
Sheikh Qaouk also touched upon the spiritual relationship between the Secretary General of Hezbollah and the commander of the Quds Force.
“Hajj Qassem Soleimani was concerned with preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.”
While talking about Commander Soleimani and the Divine Victory in July 2006, the capabilities of the resistance automatically come to mind.
"Today [the resistance is] at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, and its surprises," Sheikh Qaouk warned.
He promises that “there are surprises that will take place on the battlefield that are not included in the enemy’s calculations, and, God willing, the greatest victory will be ours.”
“The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it.” This is according to the resistance, and the most important lessons revolved around the realization that “[we needed] to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.”
“We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.”
On the anniversary of the 2006 war, Sheikh Qaouk congratulated the wounded, whose scars bear witness to their heroism and the barbarism of the enemy. He congratulated the resistance fighters, who are the Men of God who continue to protect this nation – away from the limelight – and pose as the homeland’s dignity and pride. He also commended our loyal and faithful people – the most honorable and purest people on their steadfastness and their glorious victory. Moreover, he asked God to have mercy on the souls of the martyrs, who achieved this great victory.
Below is the full text of the interview:
* For the first time, you mark the anniversary of the July 2006 aggression in the absence of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. What do you remember about his role alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh in that war? Did you meet him during the 33 days of war?
The name of Hajj Qassem is resounding. It exudes dignity and pride. The name has an impact on friend and foe. To the enemy, his name is frightening – a nightmare for which every account is calculated. To the friend, it is a symbol of confrontation, will, challenge, and resistance.
When Hajj Qassem is mentioned, victories throughout the region and the world are remembered. I recall beautiful memories, most of which were on the battlefields, in confrontations, and on the front lines.
In fact, Hajj Qassem’s personality is ever-present in us because it is a unique model that possessed all the characteristics of a distinguished Islamic leader.
Hajj Qassem is party to all major accomplishments. He strengthened and developed the capabilities of the resistance. He led it to victories that changed the face of the region.
The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani.
* When martyr Soleimani’s name is mentioned, what is the first thing that you remember?
As a reminder, Hajj Qassem refused to leave Lebanon during the July 2006 aggression, despite the brothers' insistence that he leave for his own safety.
Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.
He was a partner in the 2006 victory, just as he was a partner in the 2000 victory. One of his main concerns during the aggression was preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.
* 14 years after the July 2006 aggression, the resistance misses senior leaders such as Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, and Sayyed Zulfiqar. Did this loss cause a decline in the military capabilities that might be reflected in the readiness of the resistance in any future war?
The martyrdom of senior leaders along this jihadist path has always strengthened the resistance’s momentum, made it tougher, strengthened its resolve, and sharpened its will.
In the beginning, many leaders were martyred, including the sheikh of the martyrs, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, and the master of the martyrs of the resistance, Sayyed Abbas Al-Musawi and others. But the resistance march was not broken or weakened. It did not lose. Rather it grew and expanded. It deepened and became a choice and took root in the people's consciousness, awareness, and conscience.
Today, years after the martyrdom of Hajj Radwan and Sayyed Zulfikar, we ask: Was the resistance in 2008 stronger, greater, and more capable or is it so today after their martyrdom? It is evident that today it is stronger, more powerful, and more capable!
What can we conclude from that? We conclude that the march, which is linked to God, is capable, with divine intervention, of overcoming all the difficulties and all its wounds. And with the martyrdom of its leaders, it does not retreat, but rather progresses and becomes more capable than before.
The same thing is true of the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem. We are not worried about the path of Hajj Qassem despite his absence because the source is present. The authentic Mohammedan Islam that made Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, Sayyed Zulfiqar, and their brothers is capable of making many Qassem Soleimanis, Imad Mughniyahs, and Mustafa Badreddines.
On this basis, the martyrdom of the leaders did not constitute any regression in terms of the capabilities, readiness, and spirit of the resistance. That spirit, which the enemy admitted that it had defeated in July, is still present and is today more driven.
The resistance today is at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, ability, and surprises.”
*During the aggression, you were in the south. What do you remember most about that war?
There is no doubt that wars burry themselves deep in the human conscience. There are two images that remain deep inside everyone who witnessed the war. The first is the image of blood spilled unjustly and the massacres. No one can forget the blood of his family and people. The image of the destruction the enemy caused is unforgettable, even if - thank God - our homes are better than they were.
The other is the image of the amazing resilience of our people. The victory trumpeted by dignity. It is the first victory of the nation in a direct confrontation with the enemy. The July victory officially documented to history and to the whole world that "Israel" was defeated, and that it was weaker than a spider’s web.
What does it mean when the resistance that has limited capabilities triumphs in the face of a global war waged by the fiercest usurping country in the region?
What does it mean when the enemy’s army that defeated the Arab armies within days was crushed near Aita al-Sha`b and Maroun al-Ras? What does it mean when it couldn’t reach Bint Jbeil, which is hundreds of meters away from its entity?
It is the historic divine victory that we should be proud of forever, and we thank God Almighty day and night for the great victory.
* After the July 2006 aggression, the Islamic resistance faced more than one internal and external challenge. It fought battles and lost martyrs on more than one front. How did the resistance benefit from these experiences to raise the level of its readiness? What do you promise the enemy in any future war?
Certainly, the experiences, capabilities, and techniques of the resistance after its defensive battles against the takfiri terrorists, whether in Lebanon or Syria, cannot be compared to what it had before these confrontations.
We must not forget that the capabilities and methods of the terrorists are a summary of the capabilities, ideas, and methods of major international intelligence services that were harnessed in these confrontations to support the terrorists.
In its battles, the resistance reaped the outcome of all these capabilities, methods, and experiences, and this in itself is a tremendous achievement. Therefore, we constantly hear and sense the “Israeli” concern about the tremendous quality and quantity of achievements gained by the resistance in those confrontations.
It is possible today to confirm with full confidence that all this is strongly present in the readiness of the resistance. The resistance employs all these experiences to amplify its high degree of readiness, which is the largest and only obstacle to the enemy and its ambitions. And because the enemies of Lebanon and the resistance cannot overcome the resistance and its equation, they have resorted today to other methods of confrontation. Hence, the economic aggression. As the truthful promise was achieved by the military resistance, the truthful promise will also be achieved by the economic resistance.
* How will the next war look like? Will it be between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, or do you see it as greater?
It is true that brutality and aggression are the enemy’s inherent features since its inception, but we cannot approach reality on the basis of this trait alone. Therefore, we do not see that an “Israeli” war on Lebanon is an absolutely imperative issue.
The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it!
14 years ago, the resistance achieved victories, and its capabilities accumulated in full view of the enemy, but it could not do anything.
The cost of the aggression that prevented the enemy from waging a war during the past stage is higher and more severe today. If the enemy before was unable to bear the costs of the war, today it is even more incapable of doing so.
Talk by the enemy’s leaders about waging a war in recent years is an attempt to restore cohesion, to reestablish some of the prestige they lost, and to dispel the inability that is eating them. The enemy knows best that any mistake it makes will be a great and destructive sin. The calculations of any confrontation - if it happens - will be unusual and unpredictable, not at the level of its image, its geography, nor at the level of the elements of this confrontation.
Today, the “Israeli” enemy trembles from the equation of the destructive missiles that will fall on the entire usurper entity. It also trembles from the Galilee equation – an equation it has never witnessed since its inception. This is in addition to the great surprises that will trample the enemy and its position.
The strategy of the resistance has proven to be a powerful dam against the enemy's ambitions and goals, and it is the strong shield that protects and maintains its existence.
* What about the divine intervention in July 2006?
The divine intervention was present in every detail of the July war as well as previous operations – from Operation Truthful Promise to the first moments of the aggression until the moment of victory.
There was divine kindness and intervention in the timing of the aggression. The enemy was forced to launch its aggression at the wrong time in which it did not complete its preparations, while the resistance was on high alert. Thus, the enemy lost the most important element of the war, the element of surprise.
The missile hit the Sa’ar ship at sea when the enemy turned off its radar and its protective equipment. Who told the captain to turn off the devices at that moment?
The enemy’s helicopter crashed in Yater at the time when the enemy was preparing to expand and change the pattern of the aggression. That crash caused frustration.
The Katyusha rockets rained down on paratroopers who were gathered at the
Kfar Giladi colony, killing and wounding dozens of officers and Zionist soldiers.
The feeling of tranquility among the resistance fighters along the front lines was divine. God Almighty planted love for the resistance and its secretary general in the hearts of the people in the most difficult, darkest, and bloodiest days.
The loyal people who sacrificed everything remained steadfast. They saw their life’s work burned and destroyed. However, the only word you hear from them is loyalty. This steadfastness and loyalty were divine intervention and kindness.
The entire course of the war was a intervention to the extent that even Shimon Peres had to declare that "God was with Hezbollah during the war."
* What are the conclusions of the July 2006 war?
The main lessons of this war lie in the demise of the era of “Israeli” triumphs. The July victory is still continuing, and the enemy is still writhing at defeat.
During the war, we realized that we needed to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.
We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.
The essence of this war is that the enemy used everything and exhausted everything until it was threatened with a resounding fall. Meanwhile, the resistance proved that it is able to change the path of the region and turn dreams into reality by relying on God.