Syria's Civil War Produces a Clear Winner: Hizbullah

(Wall Street Journal) Maria Abi-Habib - After years of growing engagement, including training thousands of mostly Shiite Muslim fighters, Hizbullah is today stronger, more independent, and in command of a new Syrian militia that its officials say is ready to be deployed to other conflicts in the region. Hizbullah now fights alongside Russian troops, and it was Hizbullah that devised the battlefield plan for conquering Aleppo used by Syrian and Russian forces last year, according to Arab and U.S. officials. "Russian stocks [of weaponry] are open to Hizbullah," said a Hizbullah official who travels frequently to Damascus. "Our fighters eat and sleep alongside theirs and we're sharing everything, always." Western diplomats estimate the number of Syrian fighters loyal to Hizbullah's command - which Hizbullah calls al-Ridha Forces, and are known locally as "Hizbullah in Syria" - in the tens of thousands. In Syria, Hizbullah is playing for lasting political and social influence, Western and Arab diplomats say.

2017-04-03 00:00:00

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