The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah extremist organization, Hassan Nasrallah, choked up on Iranian state television on Thursday as he related a daydream in which he beseeched God to take him instead of Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian militia commander killed by a US drone strike in January.
Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike on Baghdad’s international airport on January 3, dealing a serious blow to Iran’s network of proxy militias across the Levant, including Hezbollah. Iran retaliated by launching several ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing US troops a few days later.
Nasrallah said he was daydreaming after prayers recently about what he would do if God offered him a deal to take his soul instead of Soleimani’s.
“In light of this hypothetical [scenario], I thought: What would I say to the angel of death? I would say, without a doubt, take me and leave Hajj [commander] Qassem Soleimani,” Nasrallah said.
Hezbollah is a powerful force in Lebanon, controlling several neighborhoods in southern Beirut and most of southern Lebanon. It is closely allied to Iran and has fighters in Syria and Iraq who used to operate under Soleimani’s command.
Following the Iranian commander’s death, Nasrallah called for fighters in the “resistance” worldwide to avenge his death.