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Syrian Rebels in Trouble
Hezbollah Might Be Winning Assad's War

Hezbollah reportedly orchestrated a major ambush on hundreds of rebel fighters just east of Assad’s stronghold in Damascus. Is the Iranian-backed Islamist group winning Assad’s war for him? USA Today reports:

“Hezbollah was the main group that implemented the ambush,” said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group opposed to Assad.

The group said its contacts inside Syria report that the fighting was led by Hezbollah in tandem with Syrian government forces. A Hezbollah commander interviewed by USA TODAY confirmed that the group is taking the lead now in many battles in Syria.

“We have recaptured about 70% of the Qalamoun territories,” said Abou Ali, a Hezbollah commander on a brief respite in Beirut. […]

“Assad and his friends do not appear to believe that there is no military solution,” [says James Jeffrey, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy]. “If that is the direction the Syrian conflict is going, then Washington will eventually face a de facto military victory in the very center of the Middle East by an Assad rump state, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, on top of the humanitarian tragedy and attrition of U.S. global prestige.”

Hezbollah’s Al Manar news station is claiming that the ambush in Ghouta struck mostly foreign Sunni jihadists, though it is nearly impossible to confirm their reports. Pro-Assad forces are attempting to cut off rebel access to critical supply lines along the Lebanese border, while also securing the area between Damascus and Latakia, Assad’s coastal stronghold and home to Russia’s largest foreign-based electronic spying post.

Hezbollah has been sending fighters to fight and die in Syria for some time now. Some have even speculated that Syria might become “Hezbollah’s Vietnam”. But if the Lebanese group’s numbers are rising and if its well-armed fighters are cooperating efficiently with the Syrian Army, then the outgunned, undersupplied rebels are in trouble.

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  • mc

    This is premature at best and backwards to the reality in Qalamoun at worst. Newspapers in Lebanon and rebel sources have been reporting that the battle was a disaster for Hizbullah and Asad, and that a crisis in the south has compelled the regime to redeploy its forces. We’ll know in a few days; for the moment we know nothing.

    I don’t understand why western writers give Hizbullah media any credence–watch an hour of al-Manar TV and you’ll witness demonstrable fabrications again and again. It and others like it are useful on what Hizbullah is telling its deluded followers, nothing more.

  • Fat_Man

    Why can’t they all lose?

    • Corlyss

      Because the US is in full feathered flight from the region both to feed the entitlement behemoth and to improve Democrats chances of keeping the Senate in 2014 and electing a successor Duffus to the current Duffus in 2016.

  • Corlyss

    Hezbollah better be winning. IRGC doesn’t stock and staff that piratical bunch for grins and giggles.

    • mc

      No one can say, there’s too much disinformation. For what it’s worth, I read Syrian sources in Arabic several hours per day, discounting but not ignoring the ones with a poor record, and it looks to me like the rebels have changed the field situation. They may well be on the verge of transforming the strategic situation throughout the country, though this remains to be seen. One thing I’m certain of: things are not going at all well for the regime in Qalamoun, the south, and its alliance of convenience with ISIS.

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