Hezbollah’s intervention into Syria on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime has triggered a severe deterioration in the group’s stature in the Middle East, to the point where the anti-Israel rhetoric that has traditionally rallied support to the group is falling flat in the Arab world. Shiite Hezbollah has proven critical in allowing the Assad regime to erode years of gains by largely Sunni rebel groups, triggering outrage across Sunni states. The Times of Israel reports on regional responses to a recent speech by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in which the secretary general referred to Israel as a “cancerous growth.”
Arab media was highly cynical of Nasrallah’s speech, calling it a transparent attempt to distract the world from Hezbollah’s crimes in Syria. “Hezbollah’s secretary general tries to divert attention from his intervention in Syria,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned news site Elaph.
Meanwhile Gulf states formally began leveling sanctions against Hezbollah in response to the group’s campaigns in Syria.
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