Hezbollah has managed to retrieve the corpses of three of its militants who were killed in the Aleppo northern countryside, the Iran-backed Shiite group announced late Saturday, while its chief said that the group won’t be affected by US sanctions.
One of the recovered corpses was that of the missing fighters mentioned during Nasrallah’s televised on Friday.
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah had announced Friday that his party had lost 26 fighters in fierce clashes in Aleppo province since the beginning of June.
Another Hezbollah fighter was also captured by rival groups while another is missing, Nasrallah added, dismissing media reports that claimed a higher casualty toll for Hezbollah.
Since 2013, the group has sent thousands of fighters and mercenaries — between 5,000 and 6,000, according to the expert on Hezbollah Waddah Sharara — to help Assad regime in its war against Syrian civilians.
Hezbollah’s intervention in the Syrian conflict helped Assad regime to achieve military victories and allowed the group to take control over large areas of the Lebanese-Syrian border region from the Syrian opposition’s hand.
However, this intervention has cost the group hundreds of lives and heavy losses, especially in Aleppo and Damascus.
Hezbollah will not be affected by US sanctions
Nasrallah said on Friday his group would not be affected by fresh US sanctions because it receives its money directly from Iran, not via Lebanese banks.
In a speech broadcast by the Shiite party’s Al-Manar station, Nasrallah brushed off assertions that Hezbollah would be hurt by US sanctions on Lebanese financial institutions that work with the group.
“We do not have any business projects or investments via banks,” Nasrallah said, insisting the group “will not be affected.”
“We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.
Iran was instrumental in Hezbollah’s inception three decades ago and has provided financial and military support to the group.
In December, the US Congress voted to impose sanctions on banks that deal with Hezbollah, considered a “terrorist group” by the US.
And last month, Lebanon’s central bank instructed the country’s banks and financial institutions to comply with the new measure against the Lebanese Shiite group, Al-Monitor reported.
The Hezbollah chief also warned that some banks were applying the law too harshly and shutting down the accounts of Lebanese charities.