Hezbollah’s Pre-emptive War in Syria

Hezbollah has officially entered the Syrian war, which is has spill overed into Lebanon.

al-monitor Supporters of Hezbollah and relatives of Hezbollah members attend the funeral of a Hezbollah fighter who died in the Syrian conflict in Ouzai, in Beirut, May 26, 2013. Photo by REUTERS/Mostafa Assaf.

Topics covered

syrian, qusair, jihadists, hezbollah

May 28, 2013

No Lebanese citizen can claim to be outside the war that has been raging in Syria for more than two years, or assert that his life and his family’s future is not dependent on what happens in Syria’s war, which has become international.

No Arab citizen, from the east to west, can claim that he doesn’t live in fear that Syria might be lost to strife and be torn apart into sectarian and racist cantons, that is if it does not turn into another Somalia, as Arab League and UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned.

Qatar has been dominating the Arab League with its money and promoting the various Syrian oppositions. Saudi Arabia is bothered by Qatar’s leading role in Syria and by Qatar’s role in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Spring.

More than a hundred countries have converged to support the Syrian opposition, or rather “oppositions,” which have been unable to unite and agree on a program on how to govern Syria after the regime’s overthrow. The regime has gotten a lot weaker but it is still hanging on in a country that is gradually losing its unity, which used to be its most important element of its strength and legitimacy in the region and the world.

Back in Lebanon, the various political forces in that country are participating in the war on Syria. No Lebanese party, political leader or religious authority can claim to be outside that war or to be neutral.

It is political hypocrisy to claim that they are not participating in that war or have nothing to do with it, especially after Syria has become host to all sorts of Islamist organizations that come from all of the world’s corners and boast of committing the vilest of crimes against those who support the regime.

Lebanon’s participation in Syria’s war did not start with the announcement by Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah that his party is fighting in Qusair, near the Lebanese-Syrian border.

The situation needs no strategic experts, be they military or civilian, to prove that the Qusair front is as much Lebanese as Syrian, as well as a political, economic, and social front that extends along the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Just as Damascus is the western (and eastern) Bekaa’s capital because it has universities, hospitals and pharmacies, Homs is the capital of the northern Bekaa, whose inhabitants know Homs more than they know Beirut. They go to Homs to trade, educate their children, and they have friends and relatives there.

The economic and social relations among the people of the two neighboring regions are much deeper than many assume. And sectarian affiliation has never played a role in those relations.

For the people on both sides of the border, the Syrian war is their war. The fighters who are coming to Syria and calling for murder and genocide openly declare that they will take their message to Lebanon after they are finished with Syria. That’s what they did in Iraq. But now they are better funded and have more arms. They come from the East and West, which helped them rush to jihad to keep them away from the West’s civilized people, who do not mind breeding intolerance as long as it is directed against the Muslim people in Muslim countries.

It is more a war of self-defense than one against the Syrian regime.

Hezbollah has joined the war late compared to Islamists, who are sending many youth to wage jihad against infidels in Syria. The flames of conflict in Syria have touched Lebanon as soon as the anti-regime protests turned into a sectarian war. Hezbollah’s war is pre-emptive but expected, because this war must be fought before the entire region is devastated by sectarian strife.

Yesterday’s [May 26] rockets on the southern suburbs were not the first harassment intended to ignite sectarian strife and they will not be the last. Other parts of Lebanon have been affected by the Syrian war, which is not a war against Israel, a word that the “jihadists” never mention as they ignore their Muslim brothers in Palestine.

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More from  Talal Salman