The Iran-backed Shia terrorist group Hezbollah has lost an estimated 1,300 to 1,500 soldiers, more than one-third of its force, while fighting against rebels and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Syria on behalf of dictator Bashar al-Assad, according to Israeli experts.
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, another 5,000 Hezbollah jihadists have been wounded, analysts reportedly said.
“The group released statistics regarding its progress in the battle zone recently and has not tried to hide its losses…a stark contrast to the Shia Islamist terror group’s operating principles when the war began,” reports Arutz Sheva, citing the Hebrew-language Walla! News website.
Over the weekend, Lebanese news outlets reportedly published photos of 14 Hezbollah terrorists killed by the Islamic State near the Syria-Lebanon border.
Among the photos were images purportedly showing the dead Shia jihadists at their funerals, draped in the yellow and green flag of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group. ISIS also incurred dozens of casualties at the hands of Hezbollah, Lebanon media outlets reportedly claim.
Hezbollah and other Iran-backed Shiite militias have been combating ISIS and Syrian rebels on behalf of Assad since the civil war in Syria began nearly five years ago.
“Hezbollah’s campaign is spread along the Syrian-Lebanese border and the northwestern Syrian region near Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Alawite sect,” reports Arutz Sheva.
“For the past three months, Hezbollah has been fighting Sunni Muslim rebels alongside members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards [IRG] and Assad’s forces, with help from the Russian Air Force,” it adds. “However, the IRG has also suffered major losses, according to Iranian media reports, with over 80 soldiers killed and several taken prisoner by Syrian rebel groups.”
In mid-October, Iranian troops, allied Hezbollah terrorists, and Assad’s army launched a ground offensive, backed by Russia airstrikes, to seize key areas from ISIS and Syrian rebels.
Russia has formed an alliance with Iran, Syria, and Iraq to allegedly fight ISIS in Syria. However, Russian airstrikes have been accused of primarily targeting the Syrian opposition, including rebels backed by the United States.
Early in October, retired U.S. Gen. John M. Keane, a former vice chief of staff of the Army who now serves as the chairman of the Institute for The Study of War (ISW), told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number of Iranians in Syria far outnumber the Russians—7,000 to 100-plus.
Fox News learned from western intelligence officials that Russia is delivering Iranian weapons into Syria.