The Syrian Civil War and Its Consequences for Hizbullah

(Foreign Policy Research Institute) Benedetta Berti - After all the political capital, money and blood Hizbullah has spilled to keep Bashar al-Assad in power, a collapse of the regime or a political transition that sidelined Assad would represent a significant loss for Hizbullah, rocking its status and power in Lebanon, empowering the domestic opposition to the group, and perhaps even impacting on its relationship with the Lebanese Shiite community. To leave Syria without losing face or political capital, Hizbullah needs either an (admittedly unlikely) Assad victory, a political deal that leaves key parts of the regime in power, or a de facto partition that allows the Syrian regime to keep control over a strategic pocket of the country. Hizbullah's involvement in Syria has also created new enemies. Because of its military support for Assad, Hizbullah is seen as a key enemy by anti-Assad opposition forces. In particular, Hizbullah is despised and targeted by groups operating within the "Salafi-jihadist" camp such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. The writer is a Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

2015-12-30 00:00:00

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