Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah rejected on Tuesday the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS), despite the Lebanese terror group’s own violent opposition to ISIL.
Narallah, whose terror group is committed to the destruction of Israel, said that Hezbollah opposes Lebanon joining the U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIL, according to a readout of his remarks provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
While Hezbollah has fought against ISIL forces on its own in recent months, Nasrallah stated that it is more important to take a principled stand against U.S. efforts in the region.
The terror leader’s comments echo those made in recent weeks by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as well as those by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been angling for the United States to officially partner with him against ISIL.
"We are against Lebanon being part of this U.S.-led coalition," Nasrallah said, according to a readout of his remarks provided to the Free Beacon.
Lebanon "doesn’t need" the United States’ help because this is "not in its interests," according to Nasrallah, who added that an alliance with America would pose "dangers."
"We are capable of facing terrorism and terrorists. If you want to ask the coalition for anything, first ask them to stop financing and arming these terrorist groups," Nasrallah said in an apparent reference to the United States arming some Syrian rebels suspected of having possible terror ties.
Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah’s opposition to ISIL and touted his group’s "sacrifice in battle against them." He clarified that the rejection of the U.S. coalition is not about "defending ISIL" but about opposing U.S. interference in the region.
"We, out of principle, unlike others who selectively support U.S. interventions, are against U.S. military intervention," Nasrallah said. "As a result of this principled position we are against Lebanon being part of this coalition."
Hezbollah’s opposition stems from its total opposition to U.S. policies.
"We believe the U.S. is the mother of terrorism," Nasrallah said, according to the readout. "It is the root of terrorism in the world. If there’s terror, look for the U.S. administration."
America’s support for Israel naturally continues to be a problem for Hezbollah.
"The U.S. is [a] supporter of the Zionist state," which Nasrallah dubbed as "the root" of all terror in the region.
America, Nasrallah maintained, is not in a "moral position" to lead the anti-ISIL coalition.
Lebanon expert Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), explained that Nasrallah has no desire to see the United States using Lebanon as a base for its operations.
"The U.S. is already sharing intelligence" with Lebanon and its military so "why should he [Nasrallah] have Lebanon commit anything when he knows the U.S. is going to give him what he wants anyway," Badran said.
Nasrallah "can still sit there and pontificate knowing that the U.S. position on Lebanon will not change anyway," Badran explained.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah garnered headlines on Tuesday after it launched a drone strike on the Syrian border, the first of its kind from the terror group.