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Hezbollah supporters watch the movement's leader Hassan Nasrallah deliver a speech on a screen in Beirut, Jan. 5. Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Iran-allied Hezbollah movement, said during a speech Sunday that only U.S. military assets, not U.S. civilians, should be targeted in retaliatory attacks for the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, according to the Washington Post.

"It is the U.S. military that killed Haj Qasem, and they must pay the price."
— Hassan Nasrallah, using an honorific for Soleimani

Why it matters: President Trump tweeted Saturday that the U.S. military has 52 Iranian targets in the event that Iran or its proxies strike American assets, including cultural sites. The threat prompted outrage from Iranian officials, who accused Trump of advocating war crimes.

What he's saying: Nasrallah said targeting non-military Americans would benefit Trump, according to WashPost.

  • "There are many U.S. civilians in our region — engineers, businessmen, journalists. We will not touch them. Touching any civilian anywhere in the world will only serve Trump’s policy."
  • When calling for retribution, "we do not mean the American people," he said. "The true, just retribution for those who conducted this assassination is an institution, which is the U.S. military. We will launch a battle against those killers, those criminals."

Between the lines: During the speech, Nasrallah avoided mentioning Lebanon as a potential site to launch retaliation attacks and distanced the country from Iran, saying "we are not tools to be directed by Iran."

The big picture: By interfering in a conflict between Iran and the U.S., Hezbollah could squander the political benefits it will gain from forming a new Lebanese government with a Hezbollah nominee as prime minister.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.

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