by Jonathan Azaziah
If you don’t believe in miracles, it is only because you never heard of Ali “Bilal” Saleh. This legendary Hizbullah martyr, who was also known for being a leading moujahid on the Nabatiyeh front prior to the historic liberation of Lebanon in May 2000, singlehandedly changed the course of the 2006 July War. Before the aggression came to a close, the ‘Israelis’ (Unit 162) had made their way into the ultra-vital arena of Wadi al-Hujeir with a horde of their allegedly “invincible” Merkava tanks and were looking to set up shop on the Litani River, not only for military positioning but also for energy purposes, as stealing precious Lebanese water resources has always been a strategic goal of the Zionist occupation.
But Bilal, a glorious guerrilla veteran with genius-level battlefield intellect and the “eyes of an eagle” who had accuracy with projectiles unlike anything ever seen before in the Resistance’s history, was NOT about to let such a calamity happen on his watch. He declared that the advancement of the Zionists’ tanks had be halted and with his comrades wounded all around him, he adopted this mission as his alone. Bilal himself was hurt as well but it didn’t matter! He moved from Syrian-provided Kornet launcher to Syrian-provided Kornet launcher, neutralizing tank after tank while taking cover behind the rocks and trees of Lebanon’s heavenly landscape like the true son of the Jnoub he was; like a formidable, elusive, Mouqawamist ninja-jinn! For the last 30 years, the ‘Israeli’ military leadership has routinedly described Hizbullah’s moujahideen as “ghosts” the way they deliver an attack on a target and then collapse into the background like they never were even there to begin with. Ali “Bilal” Saleh, may ALLAH (SWT) be pleased with him, proved himself to be the Prince of the Ghosts.
Indeed, the oppressors simply didn’t know what the hell hit them. They were clueless to the fact that all the fire they were taking was from a single individual–Bilal, the Lebanese Islamic Resistance’s One Man Army. ‘Israeli’ drones and spyplanes tried to locate the source of the blaze raining down upon Unit 162 but Bilal continued to blend into the environment of his homeland and evade detection, giving further credence to the “Prince of the Ghosts” moniker. With his wounds bleeding profusely, he kept firing, and in the end, he destroyed fifteen, yes, you didn’t read that incorrectly, FIFTEEN Merkavas, shattering the myth of the tank’s invincibility. The Yahoud called their catastrophic defeat in Wadi al-Hujeir a “war within a war” and it was a microcosm of the Mouqawamah’s triumph over IOF for sure. Ali “Bilal” Saleh killed the myth of the Merkava tank’s invincibility. Hizbullah as a whole killed the myth of the ‘Israeli’ occupation military’s invincibility. And without the victory of the former, there wouldn’t have been the victory of the latter, that’s how pivotal Bilal’s miraculous triumph in the iconic South Lebanese valley was.
Bilal would slip into a coma from the wounds he sustained in his superhero-like showing, only to wake up one more time to receive confirmation that Hizbullah achieved victory, A DIVINE VICTORY, before departing this world for eternal rest, solidifying his status as a legendary martyr and inaugurating the “Ali ‘Bilal’ Saleh Anti-Tank School”. His epitaph reads “The Merkava Myth Destroyer”. Do you have the chills yet?
There will be some who attempt to provide a “scientific” and/or “rational” explanation about what Bilal achieved on the front lines of Wadi al-Hujeir, where Zionist machinations were burnt to ash and century-old Jewish supremacist ambitions were melted down to scrap metal. They will say that perhaps it was his brilliant battlefield mind and knowledge of his native terrain that helped him stay alive, with a dash of adrenaline thrown into the mix. They will say that perhaps it was the arrogance of the ‘Israelis’ and the supremacist ideology that guides their every maneuver and leads them into underestimating their opponents, Hizbullah particularly. And while these points are all true, they don’t tell the whole story, because they can’t tell the whole story, as what took place was something far beyond the scope of secular geopolitical and military analysis.
Here was a man, deathly wounded, disconnected from his brothers, spied on from the air, attacked from the ground and ultimately outnumbered by the invaders a hundred to one, but somehow, SOMEHOW BY THE GRACE OF ALLAH (SWT), he not only survived, but delivered the blow that would win the war for Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Iran, our region in general, and, truly, the entire world. His comrades spoke of angels surrounding him and protecting him as he did what was necessary to safeguard his people and homeland. A “shield of light”, as his fellow moujahideen called it, was placed on Bilal by the angels to blind the enemy to each of his next moves. It looks, feels, smells and reads like the very personification of Divine Intervention, i.e. the Creator assisting someone of the highest moral and spiritual character directly so good can conquer evil. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says it is the unwavering faith of the moujahideen and the love of ALLAH (SWT), His Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) and the Holy Prophet’s Pure Household (A.S.) that beats in their hearts that guides them to victory. It was this faith and love that granted Ali “Bilal” Saleh the ability to ascend to the status of superhero, become a one man army and perform the miracle Lebanon needed to prevail over the Zionists; faith and love and nothing but. The “most moral army in the world” of the “only democracy in the ‘Middle East'” was broken into bits by these Men of God. Subhan’ALLAH.
I was going to write a poem for Bilal, but his heroism, his victory and his martyrdom are prose in and of themselves. Verily, his sacrifice is poetic enough. You may not have believed in miracles prior to reading this, but you damn sure should believe now. Ali “Bilal” Saleh walked with angels on Earth and today he walks with angels on the Other Side; beloved he was here, beloved he is there, and his legacy can currently be seen everyday in the young Hizbullah fighters across the combat zones of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir Ezzor and elsewhere in Syria who fire anti-tank weaponry at the Takfiri scourge like Bilal did in Wadi al-Hujeir against the Zionists. Yes, he continues to shock the enemy and its tools in death as he did in life. One Man Army, Miracle-Maker, Superhero and Mouqawamah hero, rest in power forever, always and after ya Shahid.