Hizbullah Builds Up Covert Army for a New Assault Against Israel

[Observer-UK] Mitchell Prothero - Hizbullah has embarked on a major expansion of its fighting capability and is now sending hundreds, if not thousands, of young men into intensive training camps in Lebanon, Syria and Iran to ready itself for war with Israel. "The villages in the south are empty of men," said one international official. "They are all gone, training in Bekaa, Syria and Iran." The initial training and selection of recruits is done in Lebanon, with Iran preferred for training on specialities - use of certain weapons, RPGs and anti-tank missiles. Signs of the militia's dramatic expansion are alarming Hizbullah's domestic and international enemies. The decision to expand both the military wing and the supporting militias stems not from the losses during the 2006 war but from Hizbullah's success as a conventional military force in that conflict, says a Lebanese army commander who has worked with the group, his view being confirmed by a U.S. military study.

2008-04-29 01:00:00

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