Hizbullah's Necessary War of Choice in Syria

(Real Clear World) Aram Nerguizian - Hizbullah decided to commit to offensive military operations inside Syria in concert with Assad's forces. Hizbullah's choice reflects its own priorities in Syria: the primacy of preserving the "Resistance Axis with Iran," and Shi'a communal fears as a regional minority group with a need to create strategic depth in Syria. These factors have led Hizbullah to the bitter conclusion that it can choose to fight Sunni forces in Syria today or fight Sunni forces in Lebanon tomorrow, should Assad fall. Yet such a war also presents very real risks. It endangers Shi'a communities in the Gulf, further alienates regional Arab public opinion, and pushes the U.S. to provide anti-Assad rebels with weapons in order to "rebalance" the military balance in Syria. Hizbullah can continue to absorb more combat deaths, largely thanks to the dramatic expansion of the group's armed wing in the wake of the 2006 Israeli-Hizbullah war. Compared to some 3,000 fighters in 2006, Hizbullah's current fighting strength may be 20,000-30,000, of which 25% may be full-time, active-duty personnel. The writer is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

2013-06-21 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive