By Inserting Itself into Syrian War, Hizbullah Makes Dramatic Gamble

(New York Times) Anne Barnard - With its plunge into the Syrian civil war, Hizbullah is taking its followers in an unaccustomed direction, fighting a pre-emptive war against foreign jihadists. Hizbullah is betting its prestige and security on the effort to crush a Syrian rebellion that is detested by Hizbullah's Shiite Muslim base, but popular with the group's Lebanese rivals and with much of the Sunni majority in the wider Arab world. But if it fails, the fallout could leave the group weakened, with bridges burned at home and abroad. In Dahiya, the group's stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut, one resident, Umm Hassan, fretted about where she would go if Hizbullah again came under attack from Israel. The last time that happened, in 2006, thousands of Hizbullah supporters took refuge in Syria, staying in the homes of Syrians, including the Sunnis who dominate the uprising the group is now helping to crush. "Where will we go this time?" Umm Hassan said. "I don't see Syria as a safe place for me as a Shiite. We will be killed, if not by the Israelis, by angry Syrians."

2013-05-29 00:00:00

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