Israeli newspapers Haaretz and JPost are claiming that the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah are gearing up for possible action against Israel in the case that Syrian leader Bashar al Assad’s position comes under significant threat, according to sources close to the movement. Sources close to Lebanese Shite group Hezbollan have said that the organisation may open a front agaisnt Israel to deflect pressure from Syrian president Bashar al Assad if his position becomes significantly threatened. The Syrian leader has been rocked by pro democracy protests in recent weeks and months that have claimed the lives of 1,500 protesters according to some sources.
The source, which claimed that the US lost an alley in ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarrak and were now seeking to even the balance of power by toppling Assad, said ‘the region now is at war, a war between what is good and what is backed by Washington… Syria is the good’.
Syria is one of Hezbollah’s major allies and provides significant funding and arms to the group in their wars with Israel, the latest of which was in 2006. Hezbollah is also dependent on Syria to allow the transfer of arms from its other major regional ally, Iran, into Lebanon.
In turn Syria has used Hezbollah as a means of retaining influence in Lebanon after it was forced to withdraw from the region after the assination of Lebanese pro independence President Rafiq Hariri in 2005. Both Syria and Hezbollah have been implicated by the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon as having roles in the assassination.
Questioned as to whether the groups support for Assad was inconsistent with its support for other ‘Arab Spring’ pro democracy movements in Egypt and Bahrain the source claimed there was no contradiction. ‘When the regime is against Israel and is committed to reforms then Hezbollah decision is to be by the side of the people and the leadership through urging them for dialogue and partnership,’ the source claimed.
Hezbollah receive wide support from many in the region due to their role in expelling Israel from Southern Lebanon in 2000 and repelling an Israeli attack in 2006.
Lebanon has recently announced a new government dominated by Hezbollah sypathisers following the withdrawel of the group from Lebanons previous government in Febuary.