MidEast

Tensions In Hezbollah Come to Surface After Losses to Islamists

Following recent Hezbollah losses in the Syrian arena and near the Lebanese-Syrian border, there are reports of tensions and divisions inside the organization. The Saudi newspaper al-Youm reported (Arabic link) today that some of the organization’s combatants are threatening to neither fight for the organization nor return to their bases.

Over the last few weeks, Hezbollah clashed with hundreds of Islamist insurgents from ISIS and the Nusra Front along the border with Syria with both sides suffering casualties. In an unprecedented attack, Nusra Front fighters overran positions manned by Hezbollah along the Syrian border last week, killing eight of its men in battles. Analysts believe that such attacks not only erode the stature of Hezbollah, they show it to be vulnerable.

According to Al-Youm, these attacks aroused some tensions in the ranks of Hezbollah, especially among activists in Beqaa and Qalamoun regions. Hezbollah officials criticized some of the organization’s military commanders in these areas, on the grounds that they did not handle the battles properly.

These tensions are probably the reason why Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a rare excursion outside his underground bunker last week and travelled to eastern Lebanon. Arab media outlets suggested the goal of the visit was to raise fighters’ morale. Al-Youm reported that during the visit:

Nasrallah listened to demands of many activists, who made ​​several claims, including a lack of high-quality weapons that will allow them to defend themselves when attacked. In addition, some of them threatened not to return to their bases unless a proper evacuation of wounded will be ensured to them.

[Photo: yeowatzup / flickr]