Hizbullah in Syria

(Daily Star-Lebanon) Nicholas Blanford - Hizbullah's commitment in Syria is illustrated by the growing duration of each fighter's tour. Initially, fighters served a week at a time, later extended to 20 days during the battle for Qusayr in May. Today, each fighter spends 30 days on the Syrian front lines. Hizbullah leader Nasrallah recently pledged to double the number of fighters in Syria if need be. The Syria conflict is also preoccupying Hizbullah domestically. Car bomb attacks in the southern suburbs of Beirut as well as roadside bombings of Hizbullah vehicles in the Bekaa Valley and continuing cross-border rocket fire into the northern Bekaa has compelled Hizbullah to adopt unprecedented security measures. Israel's retaliatory airstrike for the rocket firing from Lebanon last Thursday was little more than a routine signal of displeasure. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command base at Naameh traditionally has served as a retaliatory target for the Israeli air force when Israel either cannot find more appropriate targets or does not want an escalation along the border. While the actual figures are not known, it is probably safe to assume that there are some 8,000-10,000 Hizbullah fighters serving in Syria at any one time.

2013-08-27 00:00:00

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