On Hezbollah’s Syrian Intervention

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A Syrian army soldier inspects a house as his unit advances in on the village of Western Dumayna, 7 km north of the rebel held city of Qusayr on 13 May 2013. (Photo: AFP - Joseph Eid)

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Published Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The matter is very simple: If the forces backing the Syrian opposition could have provided them with more support, they would have already done so. In fact, there is little left they have not given them in terms of weapons, money, and fighters. The only reasonable answer to those who ask why they have not intervened directly in the conflict is that there is a limit to military force.

In Lebanon, the Syrian opposition’s supporters took the initiative early on to provide individuals and groups with all kinds of political, media and material assistance. The northern border with Syria became a lifeline for the opposition, turning Tripoli into a support base for the uprising, where money was collected, fighters recruited and trained, and weapons gathered and smuggled across the border.

Several weeks into the crisis, support for the opposition became public as “relief centers” were established in places like Turkey and Europe, among many others around the world, under the guise of “assisting the Syrian people,” when in fact they were little more than military training camps for the opposition.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, and Jordan also joined the campaign, just as Salafi and jihadi groups from around the region sent dozens of fighters who rubbed shoulders with French, British, and American special forces. They all operated on the basis that the regime in Damascus would be toppled quickly.

Aside from those who denied such support, there are those who decided on their own that the vast majority of Syrians were opposed to the regime, ignoring a very different reality on the ground. And when detractors pointed out the growing influence of extreme takfiri elements in the crisis, the response was that these were lies fabricated by the regime to distort the image of the revolution.

In Lebanon, March 14 forces – along with others at the service of Gulf and Western countries – did all they could to make Lebanon part of the official Arab stance that sought to destroy Syria under the pretense of a popular uprising. They would go into a fit of hysteria any time Lebanon’s foreign minister expressed a different point of view.

In this context, how is Hezbollah’s involvement in the battle of Qusayr being treated?

Those who oppose Hezbollah’s political and military support for the Syrian regime are the very same people who reject any role for the Resistance in Lebanon. They dream of turning the party into a charitable organization, never once having stood by its side when it battled Israel for years to liberate the South.

In fact, their history is full of betrayal of country and cooperation with the enemy – from the failed May 1983 peace accords between Lebanon and Israel, to openly justifying Israel’s assault on Lebanon in 2006. They would gladly fight Hezbollah themselves if they could. Instead, all they have left to hope for is to see the takfiris bring their crusade to Lebanon, so that they can blame it on Hezbollah.

Quite frankly, no one – from Hezbollah leadership all the way down to its popular base – wanted to see the party’s fighters engaged in the Syrian conflict. But the fact of the matter is that the Resistance is doing something that many will soon begin to appreciate.

And to spare us a long debate on this matter: What Hezbollah is doing in Syria is part of a wider struggle by the forces of resistance against a murderous front of reactionary forces...at the heart of which stands Israel.

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


Not a word about the fact that Bashar kills his own people - and not just rebels and fighters.
Bombing neighborhoods indiscriminately, shooting at by standers etc.
Bashar must go.
It is true that some of the rebels are not into making a democracy out of Syria - but Bashar is certainly not a democrat either.
Bashar always has been a vicious dictator - just like his father who murdered 20,000 people in Hama back in the 80s.

Thanks for your articles, excellent as usual.

"And to spare us a long debate on this matter: What Hezbollah is doing in Syria is part of a wider struggle by the forces of resistance against a murderous front of reactionary forces...at the heart of which stands Israel."

Translation: I don't want to debate because of how laughably ridiculous my position is.

You basically posit that Hezbollah fighting on behalf of a regime that has killed 80,000 civilians is a good thing because it is anti-Israel. You are a lunatic.

The position quite clearly laid out by Hezbollah, for those not already prejudiced:

The destruction of the Syrian regime and its replacement by chaos or Salafi caliphate, is an existential threat to the resistance (and not the Shia).The current backers of these takfiri forces will NEVER allow them to fight Israel.

If you think that the FSA or SNC or any other foreign creation is going to create a free and democratic Syria, then its obvious who you lunatic is...

Everybody who opposes Bashar is a "GCC/Nato/Zionist stooge and Hamas is more treacherous than Iran's poodles who rode to power on American tanks?!

The resistance are Hezbollah.

So grateful that we have Al Akhbar English. For Arabs being raised abroad we need to know about the suffering and real issues in our region. Some of us have not been raised to speak Arabic fluently so I am grateful for your information and perspective.

I am muslim from Bangladesh and hate to see this division in the name of Shia and sunni. We all love Hazrat Ali but he was only a human being long died. We hate the gulf arabs as they are still the barbarian as if living in the time before Prophet Muhammad. They are the most racist, coward and cruel people in the world and live in the most morally corrupt society in the world today. Hizbollah and Iran are the ray of hope for the muslims as they are resisting the Israeli/US axis of evil and their arab surrogates.

whats hezb bil bala doing there?isnt the goal making shias ashamed?shame on them.now iranian people must afford expenses of their widow and children's living. ....

shia girl, the hizbullah i there doing what you cannot do, resisting the forces of evil who are bent on destroying, occupying other territories. the evil have one goal of destroying all those who have the nerve to stand on thier two legs and say that is wrong and unjust and it should stop. if you really care to know just look at what is happening to palestinians, what is happening can happen to you. if what bothers you is iranian assistence to those affected in struggle, try shifting to israel or any other country that is enemies with iran you will know what it means. israel and her friends are looking for every opportunity to turn your homeland iran into an iraqlike with chaos, hopelessness and death surrounding you day and night

Clearly Lebanon and interested observers need a dedicated English Daily newspaper/media version of Al-Akhbar to replace the withered Daily Star enterprise.

AMIN you are a sham
"Never having stood by its side while it battled Israel in the South"?

We all now know your party and what it stands for. The lebanese were and able to support the party while its motives were clearly nationalistic, not when its motives now are clearly sectarian"

Great article, agree with you, Hizbollah, will destroy these Salafis and jadahis. I am a sunni, and i love Hizbollah.

to mullah and all the people who call themselves muslim,you d better call yourself communist or some trash like that .we all know bashar is communist and all his disciples must confirm his ideas.hi all baathis!!!!!

I agree totally with you. I am a sunni and I love Hesbollah too. As usual, great article, Mr Al- Amin.

You can engage in your hypocritical takhween all you want, but the takhween and guilt by association was never applied when the shoe was on the other foot for the allies of the Iranian regime and Hezbollah, nor did they utter a single word against their collaboration with the West, which pales in comparison to anything which has happened in Syria. One of the biggest lies of the Iran-Syria axis is that any Sunni who opposes them is a Western stooge, forgetting that there are still tens of thousands of Sunnis in the dungeons of the Arab Sunni tyrants who opposed the treacheries of these regimes.

"Aside from those who denied such support, there are those who decided on their own that the vast majority of Syrians were opposed to the regime, ignoring a very different reality on the ground"

If I said that majority of Iraqi Shi'ites supported Saddam, how would you and your fellow sectarians feel?!

This is NOT a sectarian fight, why are you keeping that lie. The syrian Army who fight with Asad are enterly Sunny. There is NO sectarian fight, im sunny and iam ANTI those rebels that the only thing they do is making to israel easy to Expand.

The majority of Syrian Sunnis oppose the Assadi regime and they don't need the sectarian liars of the Iran-Syria axis to speak for them, the "Sunnis" who support Bashar are similar to Saddam's Shi'ites who switched allegiance after his downfall:


Sectarianism is a powerful instrument to make sure that you can use the army's full military might against the population. No military that is reasonably representative of the population could do what the Syrian army did over the last two years, i.e. destroying most of the country's major cities, including large parts of the capital. You need a sectarian or ethnic divide that separates the core of the military from the target population. Algeria went through a nasty civil war in the 1990s, and Algerian generals are ruthless people, but I do not think that the Algerian military ever used heavy artillery against one of the country's large cities. The fact that the best units in the Syrian military are largely manned with Alawite soldiers (in addition to members of some loyal Bedouin clans) has been key to explaining the level of violence we have seen over the last two years. Of course, the majority of Syrian soldiers are Sunnis, but it is striking that Asad did only use a minority of the army's available units: according to some observers, only one third of the army was entrusted with combat missions since the start uprising. Seen from that angle, the purported "cohesion" of the Syrian army becomes much less puzzling: the risk of defections significantly decreases when two-third of the soldiers are in fact locked up in their barracks, or at least kept away from the battlefield."

Go back to your pathetic Ad-Dunya reruns.

Unsubstantiated claims behind more unsubstantiated claims...
blowhard you are

Thanks Ibrahim al-Amin for a glimpse at the truth of what is happening in Syria. I agree with your analysis and I hope you continue to brief us on what is really going on.

Sibel Edmonds too seems to have a handle on the the goings on of the USA, Israel and Saudi + its satellite states.

But the left still maintains that it started out in Syria as a genuine "revolution" by the people. I personally doubted this from the outset and I am sure the facts on the ground could be twisted.

How did it all start?


please keep writing daily reports and analysis (in english) -- your perspective is vital.

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