The United States is “the last state” to designate people as terrorists, the unnamed Hezbollah official told the Associated Press in a report published on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the US Department of State said it would pay up to $7 million for tips about Talal Hamiyah, the head of Hezbollah’s foreign operations, and $5 million for Fu’ad Shukr, a top military officer of the movement. Nathan Sales, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, told reporters that the reward, the first of its kind in a decade, was “another step to increase the pressure” on Hezbollah.
“It is part of the continuous efforts to demonize Hezbollah. They are false accusations that will not have any effect on the operational activities of Hezbollah,” the unnamed Hezbollah official said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Hezbollah official accused the US of supporting terrorist organizations and backing states and regimes “that have a long history in financing and supporting terrorism.”
He signaled that Washington would also press other countries into designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
Hezbollah fighters have been battling Daesh Takfiri terrorists both in Syria and along the Lebanese-Syrian border. The resistance movement, which has played a critical role in the Syrian military’s counterterrorism operations over the past few years, says its mission is aimed at preventing the spillover of the Syria crisis into Lebanon.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recently said the United States was using its air force to protect Daesh terrorists from raids by Syrian government forces. The Hezbollah leader added that Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters from popular defense groups should mop up the country’s territory of Takfiri terrorists; otherwise the militants would continue their attacks.
On Tuesday, Russia accused the United States of only pretending to be fighting Daesh, saying the US-led coalition purportedly fighting terrorists had intentionally reduced the number of its air raids in Iraq to allow terrorists to safely flow into Syria where government forces have been advancing against Daesh.