On April 8, 2014, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, gave an extended interview to Assafir, a Lebanese daily. He was asked whether there are geographical limits or red lines to Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, to which he answered: “We exist where we should exist.” He specifically mentioned three areas in Syria where Hezbollah fighters are present in which, according to Nasrallah, they were obliged to enter – Al Qoseir, Qalamoun and Damascus – apart from what he refers to as “…Hizbullah’s participation next to the Syrian troops.” In an April 16th article in Al Monitor, Edward Dark, a pseudonym for a journalist based in Syria, reveals the presence of about 250 Hezbollah fighters in the Zahra front in West Aleppo.
Hezbollah and Syria: From Regime Proxy to Regime Savior
Hezbollah’s longstanding ties with the House of Assad lie at the core of its domestic and regional policies. Losing Assad would undermine Hezbollah’s regional strategic posture and embolden its domestic opponents to challenge its military status. Hezbollah is thus fighting in Syria to protect its status in Lebanon and its regional standing as much as to protect Iranian interests in the region. Public rhetoric from both Iran and Hezbollah leave little doubt about their unwavering commitment to the Assad regime. Will Iran and Hezbollah continue to fight for Assad’s political survival irrespective of the consequences for regional stability? While they argue that political dialogue and negotiations are the only way forward in Syria, both Iran and Hezbollah have been circumspect about what a political solution in Syria should entail.
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