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

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, combinedwith fighters from the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, is focusingheavy firepower on the strategic city of Qusair near the borderwith Lebanon. The city is important because it’s on major roads thatconnect Damascus with Lebanon and with the Port of Tartous on theMediterranean. The side gaining control of Qusair will gain a bigadvantage in the war. Rebels are largely surrounded in the city,suffering missile bombardments and air strikes, and may end upsuffering a major defeat. BBC andReuters

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leads the fight in Syria battle

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

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

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday gave a bombastictelevised speech intended to answer the criticisms directed at him.He confirmed what everyone already knew — that Hezbollah forces werefighting in Syria on the side of the al-Assad regime. He recalledthat Saturday is the 13th anniversary of “Liberation and ResistanceDay” — Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000: 

This day should be forever remembered and this memorymust be transmitted from one generation to another. It representsa meaningful national experience and is a passage towards thefuture… 

The importance of the Liberation Day is similar to the day theU.S. army withdrew from Iraq and all the region’s great days thatare targeted by the American-Zionist project… 

Israel threatens Lebanon on a daily basis and has been mobilizingits forces on the border for months. It is bombing Syria andthreatening it. Israel is ready for war… 

Israel is building settlements on its border with Syria, Lebanonand Jordan and is recruiting Jews from all over the world andoffering them salaries and job opportunities, and is giving themmilitary training and weapons… These settlements are a part ofthe Israeli military plan… 

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

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

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

Whether Nasrallah can meet his promise of “tens of thousands offighters” is doubtful. It’s well to remember that Syria is in agenerational Awakening era, and most people above age 30 are simplysick of war. During the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah,the Hezbollah fighters did not fight aggressively, mostly contentingthemselves to launch rockets at Israel and then return each day to thearms of their wives. It’s not expected that they’ll be much moreenthusiastic today. Naharnet (Beirut) and Daily Star (Beirut)

Lebanon’s opposition condemns Nasrallah and Hezbollah

A response to Nasrallah was given by former prime minister SaadHariri, whose father, Rafiq Hariri, was killed in a terrorist attackin 2005 perpetrated by Syria and Hezbollah. His speech represents theopinions of many people in Lebanon, which is that Nasrallah puts thevalue of Hezbollah above Lebanon as a whole. Hariri uses the words

The resistance [Hezbollah] ends by your [Sayyed HasanNasrallah] hands and will. The resistance announced its politicaland military suicide in Qusair. You have taken the resistance todefeat in Qusair. 

You have carved in Syria and with the blood of children and womenand the elderly … an abyss that you wanted the resistance tofall into it. Your speech is a frank announcement that you havefallen into the abyss.

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

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

Nasrallah calls on the Lebanese and the president and all thepolitical leaderships and parties and sects to acknowledgeHezbollah’s state whose word rises above the word and will of theLebanese republic. 

You Lebanese, if you want to fight, then Nasrallah has invented aningenious fatwa for fighting. You Lebanese can now fight on Syriansoil and send projects of death and martyrs to Qusair and Homs’outskirts. 

We say to Nasrallah bluntly and honestly, you can shout whateveryou want and you can threaten, launch accusations and describe thestate in whatever terms pleases you… your latest speech isworth nothing.

Nasrallah’s speech and Hariri’s reply mark reflect the increasingsectarian violence in countries in and around the Mideast. As we’vebeen saying for years, the Mideast is headed for a sectarian warbetween Sunnis and Shias that will engulf the entire region. Daily Star (Beirut)

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