The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Hizbullah’s expanding military involvement in Syria and the reduction of the supply line threat

The longstanding situation on the border between the Bekaa in Lebanon and Syria – with Hizbullah fighters and allies resting next to FSA and Sunni Islamist fighters AFTER both come back from fighting one another and each other’s allies INSIDE SYRIA – was NEVER going to last.

We are now seeing the breakdown, as we are in multiple theaters after two years of a grinding conflict: “A spokesman for the opposition Syrian Free Army charged that, “Hizbullah has started a war against us,” calling it a “coordinated ground invasion” with at least 1,000 fighters participating. Lebanese sources claim a dozen rebel fighters and two Hizbullah members have been killed in the past two days.”

Leave aside the exact proportions of the fight – and the info war aspect of this for all sides – the reality appears to be that the fighting by/with Hizbullah is deepening and that peace within lebanon’s border while fighting over the border in Syria should unravel quite fast, and with grave consequences beyond the Bekaa.

It has also been clear for at least 4-5 years that it was a safe bet Hizbullah internalized the Iranian lesson and fabricates much – though of course not all – of its weapons/fighting supplies. Hence Nasrallah’s touting of this in his last speech.

So yes – the supply line argument has been diminished as an instigator for Hizbullah’s wider involvement in fighting in Syria. The basic fact remains undiminished however: should the Assad regime appear to be in a desperate situation, it will be extremely difficult for Hizbullah to stay out of intense involvement, even if it wanted to at this point.

There are simply too many levers for too many players – not least the regime – to drag Hizbullah in deeper. Plus – of course – one suspects that there are strong voices within Hizbullah who very much want a wider conflict.

This is probably the most trying time for Nasrallah because Hizbullah’s agency (its ability to determine events) is so severely limited in the next period – more so than the 2006 war of course – but on par with the March 2000 period when it seemed the US-ISRAEL-SYRIA AND lebanon were going to go towards a peace agreement… and Nasrallah publicly accepted an Israeli embassy in Beirut!

 

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

February 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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