Hizbullah Has Edge on Syrian Battlefield

(VOA News) Jamie Dettmer - The decision by Western and Arab Gulf nations to speed up weapons deliveries to Syria's anti-government rebels is testimony to the battlefield effectiveness of Lebanon's Hizbullah fighters. In the retaking of the Syrian town of Qusayr, initially Hizbullah reservists were deployed, but then elite and special-forces units were sent in to overcome stiffer than expected resistance. "You can see the improvement in military strategy," says a U.S. special forces officer. "First, there's the rolling back of rebel positions along the Lebanese-Syria border....Then there's a focus on clearing up some Damascus suburbs and reaching out to towns to the east of the capital." A Hizbullah fighter told the NOW Lebanon website that the group's elite units are "using the training in street fighting they received in Iran, which was done in mock cities specifically built for this purpose." British journalist Nicholas Blanford said that elite training was done with Israel in mind. Hizbullah's tacticians had focused since 2006 on ways to go on the offensive against Israel by seizing and holding Israeli towns.

2013-06-27 00:00:00

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