Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah Reuters

The American targeted assassination of senior Iranian military official Qassem Soleimani marks the beginning of a new era in the Middle East, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.

In a speech Sunday at a rally commemorating Soleimani outside of Beirut, Nasrallah said that the elimination of Commander Qasem Soleimani of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force "marks the beginning of a new phase for the entire region."

“It is the start of a new phase and new history not just for Iran or Iraq but the whole region.”

Soleimani, who was widely considered to be one of the most powerful Iranian leaders after the Islamic republic’s Grand Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei, was killed in a drone strike launched by US forces near Baghdad International Airport Thursday night.

The incident comes amid a rise in tensions between the United States and Iran in recent days.

Last Sunday, the US launched air strikes against the Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq. The strikes were in response to the killing of a US civilian contractor in a Friday rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.

Days later, Iraqi militants laid siege to the US Embassy in Baghdad, setting fires and smashing security cameras before forcing their way into the compound.

US President Donald Trump accused Iran of orchestrating the violent protest. Iran rejected the allegations.

Following the attack on the embassy, the Pentagon announced that around 750 more troops would be sent to the Middle East immediately.