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Posts Tagged ‘Hassan Nasrallah’

Hezbollah’s Syrian Quagmire?

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Originally published at The American Thinker.

Has Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror organization, bitten off more than it can chew in Syria? Could the transnational terror group have fond its own Vietnam in backing Alawite dictator Assad?  Michael Young, writing in Now, makes the case:

Hezbollah’s deepening involvement in the Syrian war is a high-risk venture. Many see this as a mistake by the party, and it may well be. Qusayr will be small change compared to Aleppo, where the rebels are well entrenched and benefit from supply lines leading to Turkey. In the larger regional rivalry between Iran and Turkey, the Turkish army and intelligence services have an interest in helping make things very difficult for Hezbollah and the Syrian army in northern Syria, particularly after the car-bomb attack in Reyhanli in May. (snip)

Hezbollah has entered Syria with no exit strategy. The way in which Hassan Nasrallah framed the intervention indicates that it is open-ended. This will prompt other parties to take actions and decisions they might otherwise have avoided for as long as the Syrian conflict was primarily one between Syrians.

Hezbollah is already a magnet for individuals and groups in Syria keen to take the air out of the region’s leading Shiite political-military organization – or simply to protect their towns and villages. As Qusayr showed, the presence of Hezbollah only induces its enemies to fight twice as hard against the party. As a proxy of Iran, Hezbollah will prompt governments to do the same, and they will see an opportunity to wear down the party and trap it in a grinding, no-win situation.

Playing in the favor of Hezbollah’s enemies is that the party has little latitude to alter its strategy in Syria. It must go all the way, predisposing it to sink ever-deeper into the Syrian quagmire, or until the point where the Syrian regime and pro-regime militias can capture and control territory on their own. That is not easy in a guerrilla war in which rebels have often out-matched the army.

Hez is taking fire from one of its former leaders. From the Jerusalem Post:

Former Hezbollah Secretary-General Subhi al-Tufayli criticized the Lebanese organization’s military intervention in the Syrian civil war in an interview with Al Arabiya News aired on Friday.

“Hezbollah’s project as a resistance party that works to unify the Islamic world has fallen,” Tufayli lamented, criticizing current Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s decision to challenge Sunni Muslims to fight against the Shi’ite militia group.

“[Hezbollah] is no longer that party that defends the Umma [Islamic nation]; instead it plagues the Umma,” he said.

Tufayli noted that Hezbollah has “provoked the whole world” and started a sectarian war that “opened the door for a ferocious period of sedition.”

The prospect of Iran’s proxy being trapped in terrorist quicksand has a disturbing appeal, especially since the long suffering Syrian population will be the primary victims. The propensity for violence so evident in Islamic world operates internally as well as externally.  If forced to choose between the two, I choose intra-religious strife and peace in the Dar al Harb. Let Hezb’allah send its resources north from the Israeli-Lebanese border and become targets for IEDs and suicide bombers.

Rebel Rockets on Beirut Signal Civil War across from the Galilee

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Syrian rebel rocket attacks from inside Lebanon on Hezbollah strongholds in Beirut were the most explosive signs yet that another civil war will blow up in Lebanon and leave with Israel with an unstable and uncertain enemy from the Mediterranean Sea to the Golan Heights.

Several people were wounded, including at least three Syrians, according to Lebanese media.

Free Syrian Army commander Ammar al-Wawi warned that the rocket attacks were only warning signals of a more devastating offensive if the Lebanese government does not stop Hezbollah from fighting alongside loyalists to the Syrian regime in the civil war.

The rocket attacks, the first in Beirut since the two-year-old civil war began in Syria, came only hours after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said, “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” in Syria.

“The attack is a notice of a big upcoming explosion that can throw Lebanon into the painful events in the Arab region,” warned Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabban, according to the Beirut Daily Star.

“Launching Grad rockets from one Lebanese area to another is surprising and shocking and holds dangerous signs for Lebanon,” he added.

Marwan Charbel, Lebanese Interior Minister stated, “God willing, the events in Syria will not spill over into Lebanon, and we hope that we will have more men with more reason because we just went over 40 years of civil war.

Lebanese has not been stable for decades. After a devastating 15-year civil war in the 1970s and 80s, Syria in effect ran the country, where it stationed thousands of troops.

The United Nations fingered Syrians being behind the bloody car bomb assassination of former anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

Western pressure forced Assad to pull out of Syria as a new government offered faint hope for a more stable future, but Hezbollah’s strong presence in southern Lebanon gave it  a power base totally with pro-Syrian elements.

The civil war in Syria has already spilled over into the Golan Heights, where mortar shells and gunfire have become almost daily events.

The Galilee faces the same danger if the civil war spreads eastward.

Nasrallah Brags Syria will Give Hezbollah ‘Game-Changing’ Weapons

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Hezbollah supreme leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted on Thursday that the Syrian regime will ship to the terrorist organization “game-changing” weapons, a week after Israel bombed Iranian missiles that were sent to Syria for delivery to Hezbollah.

Nasrallah’s rhetoric came a day after Syrian President Bashar Assad’ bravado that he will strike Israel but only when he wants to.

Israel has taken all measures to refrain from getting involved in the Syrian civil war and in the ongoing political and often violent instability in Lebanon, where Hezbollah and its allied pr-Syrian parties play a dominating force.

Hezbollah sucked an unprepared Israel into war in 2006, and his warning Thursday that “Syria will give the resistance special weapons it never had before” challenged Israel to strike again and risk repercussions if Assad tries again to send “game-changing” weapons to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah may be losing some of  its shine among its ranks as a result of reportedly heavy casualty figures in Syria, where it is fighting along side Assad’s forces.

Israel officially was not bothered by Nasrallah’s rant.

“We don’t respond to words. We respond to action,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Nasrallah Admits Hezbollah Fighting the Rebels in Syria

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Hezbollah fighters are aiding President Bashar Assad’s troops in Syria to combat the rebellion, Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese terrorist movement admitted Tuesday, AFP reports.

“A large number of [rebels] were preparing to capture villages inhabited by Lebanese,” Nasrallah argued, saying it was “normal to offer every possible and necessary aid to help the Syrian army, the [pro-government militia] popular committees and the Lebanese.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Nasrallah acknowledged that Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Syria, but dismissed reports that as many as 500 had died. “Lebanon is a small country; who could hide these numbers of martyrs?” Nasrallah asked.

Nasrallah, who is an Iranian agent—both Iran’s leadership and the Hezbollah are Siite—is also a close ally of Assad, whose regime is comprised of the minority idol worshiping sect Alawis or Alawites. Both sects, Shiites and Alawites, are sworn, historic enemies of the Sunnis, the majority Muslim sect.

Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad’s wife Aisha, was Muhammad’s rightful successor and that the method of choosing or electing leaders (Shura) endorsed by the Quran is the consensus of the Ummah (the Muslim community).

Shiites believe that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali (the father of his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali) in accordance with the command of God to be the next caliph making Ali and his direct descendants Muhammad’s successors. Ali was married to Fatimah, Muhammad’s daughter.

Sounds like a very good reason to kill a lot of folks.

The Syrian rebels that have been accusing Hezbollah of fighting alongside Assad’s troops for many months now, are denying that rebel fighters target Shiites because of their sect. But no one believes them. In fact, the prevailing view is that the carnage we have seen in Syria over the past two years is mild compared to the slaughter of Shiites and Alawites that will take place as soon as the rebels win the civil war (probably with American support).

Nasrallah insisted that the fighting in the central Qusayr region close to the Lebanese border was “not over.” He also warned that the threatened destruction of Sayyed Zainab, a major Shiite shrine south of Damascus, could have “serious repercussions.”

And so on.

What’s Best for the Jews: Agencies Split Over Assad Vs. Rebels Options

Monday, April 29th, 2013

There appear to be sharp disputes among Israel’s intelligence agencies, over the best outcome of the two-year Syrian civil war. Against the background of a public debate about whether the Red Line has been crossed by the Syrian government, which likely attacked its own civilians using chemical weapons, Israel’s government experts are differing in their assessments of whose victory would better serve the Jewish state’s security interests: the Assad regime in Damascus or the rebels.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assembled, for the first time since the start of his current coalition government, the Security Cabinet, to discuss the situation in Syria and the Israeli response to recent developments, Maariv reported.

Israeli intelligence agencies are split on how to act regarding Syria. One organization believes that the focus should be kept on the Iranian nuclear issue, and, therefore, if the Assad regime collapses, the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis would absorb a mortal blow, thus improving Israel’s ability to handle the nuclear threat.

One of the factors delaying an Israeli raid on the Iranian nuclear facilities—certainly not the only one—is the probability that Iran’s clients, Syria and especially Hezbollah, would retaliate, peppering Israel’s civilian centers with the estimated 50 thousand short- and medium-range missiles Hezbollah has in its possession. With Syria turning anti-Iranian—the rebels are Sunni, Iran is Shiite—and with a consequently embattled—also Shiite— Hezbolla, The likelihood of a retaliation would diminish.

But another intelligence agency’s evaluation focuses on the border between Syria and Israel, and away from the Iranian strategic threat. It is estimated that removing Assad would create chaos and the disintegration of the central government, and as rebel groups then settle on the Syrian-Israeli they are highly likely to initiate attacks against Israel. Therefore, this agency recommends, the best course of action is to allow, and whenever possible even encourage the warring parties in Syria to continue to wear each other down over time.

So far, everyone agrees that the ongoing civil war has been a bonanza for Israeli security concerns, especially as it has been drawing Hezbollah fighters into the conflict, and returning scores of them to their homeland in convoys of coffins. As a result, Hezbollah, which has done better against the IDF in the 2006 Lebanon War, may be losing its clout in Lebanese politics, and may even be facing internal strife over its direction. The rumors about the organization’s leader Hasan Nasrallah being stricken with cancer (he’s been denying it) are a good thing, too.

It isn’t clear, according to Maariv, where Netanyahu stands in this debate. At the moment he is most concerned with the possibility that the United States would be pushed by public opinion to supply the rebels with weapons—which it may be doing via clandestine channels already.

But Netanyahu has a different perspective on the Red Line issue regarding President Obama’s decision on becoming involved directly in Syria. A Sunday Times report suggested that when Obama was visiting in Israel, he was given a full and thorough report on the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. Netanyahu’s concern is not whether or not Obama takes steps to punish Assad on using chemical weapons, but whether or not Obama ever makes good on his word regarding Red Lines.

What will Obama do at one minute before midnight—which is bound to take place this summer—when Netanyahu provides him with irrefutable proof that Iran had crossed its Red Line, and is now capable of producing and launching nuclear weapons?

And so, the competing interests here are the “convenience” of having two kinds of Syrians delivering one another into the embrace of 72 maidens in the hereafter—versus the existential need to force the president of the United States to keep his promise on Israel’s life or death issue.

A component that has not been in discussion until recently is the attitude of Israel’s on-again, off-again Muslim ally in the region, Turkey. The Turks have been feeling the effects of the Syrian civil war in a much more pronounced way that Israel. Their territory has been breached several times by aggression from the other side of the border, while thousands of Syrian refugees are flooding across the same border. Does Turkey want a quick end to the war, and whom do they like better, Assad or the rebels? And is Turkey not equally terrified of a nuclear Iran as are Israel and Iran’s neighbors along the Gulf?

Hizbullah Denies Syria Rebels’ Claim They Hit Nasrallah’s Deputy

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Syrian rebels have claimed that they wounded Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s top deputy in the bombing of a Syrian army convoy, but Hizbullah immediately denied it.

A Lebanese newspaper reported that rebels said Naim Qassem was with senior army officers loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad when the explosion hit the convoy on the Damascus-Beirut highway.

Nasrallah is scheduled to make a speech Wednesday night to squelch a report by the Turkish Anatolia News Agency that he flew to Tehran for medical treatment, Lebanese sources said he suffers from cancer.

“Such news is totally incorrect, and Nasrallah did not leave the country,” Hizbullah sources said.

Peres asks EU What Does It Take to Brand Hizbullah ‘Terrorists’

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

President Shimon Peres called on the European Union Thursday to face the facts and follow the American lead in blacklisting Hizbullah as a terrorist organization.

Speaking at a ceremony on the 93rd anniversary of the death of Zionist pioneer Joseph Trumpeldor, the president cited Hizbullah’s proven involvement in terrorist attacks in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Nigeria.

“A short distance from here a terrible tragedy is unfolding,” he said. “In Syria, the president is shooting his own people, the children of his country. On our border, in Lebanon, Nasrallah, wrapped in a cloak of religiosity, is pushing Lebanon into a bloody war.

“It is time to call Hizbullah what it really is – a murderous terror organization. The United States of America and other countries have already included Hezbollah in its list of terrorist organizations…. The time has come for every country in the world, and especially the European Union, to add Hezbollah to its list of terror organizations.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/peres-asks-eu-what-does-it-take-to-brand-hizbullah-terrorists/2013/02/21/

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