World View: Lebanon's Hezbollah Leads the Fight in Syria Battle

This morning's key headlines from
  • Syria conflict in possibly climactic battle near Lebanon border
  • Lebanon's Hezbollah leads the fight in Syria battle
  • Lebanon's opposition condemns Nasrallah and Hezbollah

Syria conflict in possibly climactic battle near Lebanon border

The army of the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, combined with fighters from the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, is focusing heavy firepower on the strategic city of Qusair near the border with Lebanon. The city is important because it's on major roads that connect Damascus with Lebanon and with the Port of Tartous on the Mediterranean. The side gaining control of Qusair will gain a big advantage in the war. Rebels are largely surrounded in the city, suffering missile bombardments and air strikes, and may end up suffering a major defeat. BBC and Reuters

Lebanon's Hezbollah leads the fight in Syria battle

Hezbollah, led by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, is the Iran-sponsored Shia terror group in Lebanon that has its own army and controls much of Lebanon's politics. Hezbollah suffered heavy losses the last week in the battle over Qusair, and it's estimated that there were far more Hezbollah fighters in the battle than Syrian army soldiers.

Hezbollah's involvement in Syria's war is unpopular with many Lebanese people. Many of them blame Hezbollah for causing the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel that took place on Lebanon's soil, where a great deal of Lebanon's infrastructure was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. Whether they support Hezbollah or oppose Hezbollah, most Lebanese would not like to see another war on Lebanese soil, and they fear that Hezbollah's actions will bring exactly that. 

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday gave a bombastic televised speech intended to answer the criticisms directed at him. He confirmed what everyone already knew -- that Hezbollah forces were fighting in Syria on the side of the al-Assad regime. He recalled that Saturday is the 13th anniversary of "Liberation and Resistance Day" -- Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000: 

This day should be forever remembered and this memory must be transmitted from one generation to another. It represents a meaningful national experience and is a passage towards the future... 

The importance of the Liberation Day is similar to the day the U.S. army withdrew from Iraq and all the region's great days that are targeted by the American-Zionist project... 

Israel threatens Lebanon on a daily basis and has been mobilizing its forces on the border for months. It is bombing Syria and threatening it. Israel is ready for war... 

Israel is building settlements on its border with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and is recruiting Jews from all over the world and offering them salaries and job opportunities, and is giving them military training and weapons... These settlements are a part of the Israeli military plan... 

The events in the last couple of years have proved that there is an axis lead by the U.S. while the rest are working under its orders. Everyone knows this axis is supported by Israel while al-Qaeda and other Takfiri [apostate/infidel] organizations from around the world were paid to take part in it... 

We do not force anyone to go to the battle. They all go willingly and aspire to take part in the resistance. You will find tens of thousands of fighters that are ready to take all fronts... 

I say to all the honorable people, to the mujahedeen, to the heroes, I have always promised you a victory and now I pledge to you a new one.

Whether Nasrallah can meet his promise of "tens of thousands of fighters" is doubtful. It's well to remember that Syria is in a generational Awakening era, and most people above age 30 are simply sick of war. During the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the Hezbollah fighters did not fight aggressively, mostly contenting themselves to launch rockets at Israel and then return each day to the arms of their wives. It's not expected that they'll be much more enthusiastic today. Naharnet (Beirut) and Daily Star (Beirut)

Lebanon's opposition condemns Nasrallah and Hezbollah

A response to Nasrallah was given by former prime minister Saad Hariri, whose father, Rafiq Hariri, was killed in a terrorist attack in 2005 perpetrated by Syria and Hezbollah. His speech represents the opinions of many people in Lebanon, which is that Nasrallah puts the value of Hezbollah above Lebanon as a whole. Hariri uses the words "the resistance" to refer to Hezbollah: 

The resistance [Hezbollah] ends by your [Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah] hands and will. The resistance announced its political and military suicide in Qusair. You have taken the resistance to defeat in Qusair. 

You have carved in Syria and with the blood of children and women and the elderly ... an abyss that you wanted the resistance to fall into it. Your speech is a frank announcement that you have fallen into the abyss.

You incited sectarian and religious sentiments like never before [during your speech]... 

This state [Lebanon], in the eyes, beliefs and ideology of Nasrallah, is good for nothing, neither at the political, security, defense or economic levels. 

Nasrallah calls on the Lebanese and the president and all the political leaderships and parties and sects to acknowledge Hezbollah's state whose word rises above the word and will of the Lebanese republic. 

You Lebanese, if you want to fight, then Nasrallah has invented an ingenious fatwa for fighting. You Lebanese can now fight on Syrian soil and send projects of death and martyrs to Qusair and Homs' outskirts. 

We say to Nasrallah bluntly and honestly, you can shout whatever you want and you can threaten, launch accusations and describe the state in whatever terms pleases you... your latest speech is worth nothing.

Nasrallah's speech and Hariri's reply mark reflect the increasing sectarian violence in countries in and around the Mideast. As we've been saying for years, the Mideast is headed for a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias that will engulf the entire region. Daily Star (Beirut)

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