A Lebanese Warlord Aims to Break Hizbullah's Hold

(Christian Science Monitor) Scott Peterson - Lebanese Shiite tribal warlord Al-Hajj Mohamed Ja'afar led 1,000 armed members of his Ja'afar tribe into battle in Syria. His Dir al-Watan (Homeland Shield) militia fought as a unit of Syria's V Corps. With Russian air support, they helped oust Islamic State jihadists from Palmyra in 2016, and later fought in Deir Ezzor. The militia lost 47 men in Syria. He says members of his tribe fight with Hizbullah for $600 per month, "but come back from Syria broke." "Now Hizbullah is hanging by a thread, anyone can come along" to challenge them, he says. "They don't care about people. They got too big, and they are corrupt." "It's becoming harder and harder for Hizbullah to sustain the resistance narrative... when years pass and there's no conflict with Israel," says Nicholas Blanford, a Beirut-based fellow at the Atlantic Council. "In the Bekaa [Valley] there are very tribal dynamics, where the tribes come first. So Hizbullah has always had trouble trying to placate the tribes."

2019-11-21 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive