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WASHINGTON – The Iranian-back Shiite Hezbollah group has deviated from its main reason for existing – to defend Lebanon from an attack from Israel – and is militarily engaging Sunni Islamist radical Syrian opposition forces to preserve the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
And the Syrian rebels, increasingly comprised of foreign fighters, want to bring the war home to Hezbollah.
They say Hezbollah fighters are assisting the Assad government in Syrian cities, such as the Qusayr district, Homs and Hermel, which are near Lebanon. For its part, Hezbollah says it is protecting Shia-concentrated areas in Syria.
In recent months, bodies of Hezbollah members have been returned to families in Dahiyeh, the Hezbollah-controlled area of south Beirut.
Now, the Sunni rebels are declaring that they intend to bring the war home to the heavily armed Hezbollah resistance group, which maintains major political and military control over all of Lebanon. They have indicated that such fighting could take place in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahiyeh. But that may be more of a pipe dream that, if attempted, would result in serious Sunni casualties.
The Syrian rebels are concerned that Hezbollah fighters are becoming more involved in the fighting on the side of the Syrian regime. This development is occurring despite denials by the resistance group that it is getting more involved.
Hezbollah’s quiet involvement comes despite denials from Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour that there is active Hezbollah involvement in Syria and that the Lebanese government in any way intends to intervene.
He said that Shia inside Syria are merely protecting themselves from the onslaught of Sunni fighters.
Now, Free Syrian Army, or FSA, acknowledges that it has initiated attacks inside Lebanon.
“We have bombed the territories of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria,” according to FSA commander Col. Hisam al-Ayyak. “The Free Syrian Army will continue bombing these positions.”
Ayyak also threatened to target Hezbollah strongholds in south Beirut unless the resistance group stops its joint operations with the Syrian military.
Gen. Selim Idriss, FSA chief of staff, said Hezbollah had shelled villages in Syria from the Shia-dominated Beqaa valley in Lebanon, another major stronghold of Hezbollah and various Shia Lebanese clans loyal to the resistance group.
The FSA commanders indicated that their activities against Hezbollah not only would be direct in south Beirut but also would include the use of long-range weapons.
Informed sources say the developments offer the increasing prospect that Lebanon will become a new military front that could alter the political and military balance in the region.
For the rest of this report and other Intelligence Briefs, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin:
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