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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hezbollah; Weakened Or Stronger After 3 Years In Syria

We are going to take a look at the current state of Hezbollah after 3 Full years of war in Syria.

Hezbollah fighters battle in Syria

Over the past 3 years of war Hezbollah has suffered loss of life, enjoyed key victories and gained valuable experience on the battlefield. Hundreds of Hezbollah fighters have returned home  as martyrs sacrificing their lives to prop up the regime of Bashar Al Assad. Hassan Nasrallah Secretary General of the Hezbollah terror organization originally dispatched his men to Syria under the auspices of protecting Lebanon's borders from the terrorists of Al-Qaeda and the Syrian Opposition.

During its time in Syria Hezbollah has had to adapt its tactics and strategies to adjust to a Guerilla type enemy. Their previous fighting experience came from their inception as an insurgency against the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon from the early 80's to early 2000's and their 34 day war against Israel in 2006. This war is not one that will be fought through launching missiles and rockets or guerilla ambushes. It is a war fought on the ground face to face with their enemy who is willing to kill themselves in order to inflict damage and casualties on Hezbollah.

Instead of using small teams on foot patrols as they did to attack Israeli tanks and ambush IDF soldiers they have changed tactics to deploying surveillance drones. They have used these unmanned drones to scout enemy encampments and plan their attacks. Also drones have been used by Hezbollah as a way of protecting their own bases and border regions from attacks. They have learned to fortify their positions and increased the number of forces that they deploy to outposts. They have adjusted to make sure each outpost or base can oversee each other and have the ability to support each other in the chance of an attack.

Commanders and fighters have gained some hard earned battle experience which will translate into a stronger training regiment for future fighters in the terror organization. Their process of deploying has become a science of 2 month deployments to Syria rotating with one month off duty back home in Lebanon. The demand to continue the fight has caused Hezbollah to reduce its minimum age for recruiting to 16 years of age. Some fighters as young 17 have already lost their lives fighting for the group in Syria.

As the war starts to move closer to Lebanon and attacks have spiked this year inside Lebanon Hezbollah has suffered a divide in support at home. Some Lebanese citizens and even members of parliament have scoffed at Hezbollah's involvement in Syria's civil war and have called for their withdrawal.  Others have called for deeper support because they view Hezbollah as the only true protector of Lebanon.

As the fight creeps into its fourth year the war itself is creeping closer into Lebanese territory. Cross border raids by Jabhat Al Nusra and ISIS have increased. Ambushes, kidnappings of soldiers and car bombings on previously secure Hezbollah neighborhoods are becoming more and more consistent. 2015 will be a defining year for Hezbollah and Lebanon as a whole. If they can defeat the Islamists on their border they will be heroes to the people of Lebanon. If not the nation will be thrown into its own sectarian civil war and not just Hezbollah but the entire Nation of Lebanon will suffer deeply.

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