Lebanese Shia Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said today the Syrian regime’s defeat of rebels in Aleppo this week had ended their hopes of ousting President Bashar Al-Assad and could pave the way to a political solution for the country.
Militants from Iranian proxy Hezbollah are fighting alongside Assad regime forces and a collection of Iranian-sponsored global Shia jihadists from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan against Syrians opposed to Al-Assad’s continued rule in Syria.
In a live televised address, Nasrallah said that the Assad regime forces’ recapture of the northern city of Aleppo after four years of fighting with rebels holding its eastern sector had opened a new stage in the nearly six-year conflict.
“Today, after Aleppo, one can safely say the [opposition’s] goal of toppling the regime has failed,” he said. “The victory of Aleppo can open new horizons for political solutions…It could make some nations realistic and see new viewpoints.”
The Syrian military loyal to the Assad regime yesterday announced that it had retaken complete control of Aleppo after the last opposition fighters and civilians were evacuated from the battered city, handing Al-Assad his biggest victory of the war.
Nasrallah said the next task was to “reinforce” and “secure” Aleppo because armed groups would continue to target the city and its surrounding area.
Iran hails fall of Aleppo as ‘Islamic conquest’
Nasrallah’s comments come in the wake of announcements made by several senior Iranian figures, who hailed the fall of Aleppo as an “Islamic conquest”.
In comments to local Iranian media, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami said: “It is now time for the Islamic conquests. After the liberation of Aleppo, Bahrain’s hopes will be realised and Yemen will be happy with the defeat of the enemies of Islam.”
Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, the government cleric who leads Friday prayers in Tehran, said last week that the recapture of Aleppo was a victory of the “Muslims over the infidels”, taken to mean that he believed that the largely Sunni Syrian opposition were heretics.
Those who cast others out of the fold of Islam are generally known as “takfiris”, a term Iran uses to describe not only Daesh, but many other Sunni groups who stand against the Assad regime and Iranian ambitions.
The Syrian Revolution began in 2011 with calls for the reformation of the Assad regime swiftly changing to calls for it to be toppled, after the Syrian government used brutal violence to quell peaceful protests. A war has been raging ever since, now well into its sixth year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin today also announced that Moscow, Tehran and Ankara would meet in the Kazakh capital of Astana to discuss “peace” negotiations to end the Syrian war.