Syria Attack: Where Does Hezbollah Stand?
By: Ibrahim al-Amin
Published Thursday, August 29, 2013
It’s kind of the Americans and Europeans to ask the people they’re about to bomb about their reaction. And sure enough, that’s exactly what they have been doing in the last few days, trying to find out how Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah will respond.
They actually want their victims to reveal their cards and stand naked before the world, hands in the air, declaring that they are ready to be slaughtered.
Western officials emerged from their capitals telling the world they will not stand for the crime committed in Syria, avoiding the fact that public opinion polls in the US, Britain, and France have shown majorities opposed to a military strike against Damascus.
Neither is there any kind of consensus on the matter in their parliaments and among many of their military chiefs and analysts.
They only want us to hear the words of their great leaders who have come out in unison to accuse the Syrian government of a crime, without any shred of evidence and before an investigation has been conducted. And on top it of it all, they plan to carry out the punishment as they see fit.
Today, all indications suggest that a military attack on Syria is imminent, but leaks to the media reveal that a sense of unease prevails among Western leaders, particularly regarding the other side’s response.
Analysts and advisers are busy trying to decipher their opponents’ reactions, hoping any response would also be limited and immediate so as not to drag the region and the West into a wider and prolonged confrontation.
The West is desperate for even a hint of what Hezbollah may do in case of an attack on Syria, particularly as Israel’s security ranks high among Washington’s priorities in the region.
The Resistance, for its part, has so far chosen to hold its cards close, remaining quiet about its options. It has, of course, issued the obligatory condemnations, and even let a couple of words slip about helping Syria defend itself against foreign intervention.
But for those who are trying to make predictions about Hezbollah’s response, it’s worth considering the following:
First, note that in the current confrontation Hezbollah is part of a wider alliance, particularly with Iran, whose Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has a great deal of influence over the Lebanese party’s decisions.
Khamenei warned that a “catastrophe will strike the area” in case of an attack on Syria, which was interpreted by many of Iran’s military leaders to mean that Tehran will not sit idly by and watch its ally being bombed without a response.
Second, Hezbollah is deeply involved in the fighting in Syria, particularly against armed groups connected to the West and takfiri Islamist networks. The party understands well that the war on Syria targets the resistance axis as whole, and has sacrificed tens of martyrs there as a result.
Therefore, there is little doubt that Western intervention will only provide further motivation for the Resistance to involve itself deeper in the Syrian war. How exactly will it do this? The answer to that question is with Hezbollah.
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.