Monday, May 27, 2013

Hezbollah's Assad Fallout

Hizbullah has quickly experienced fallout from its open embrace of the Assad regime in Syria.  One place this is seen in Bahrain, where the ruling family has banned contact with it as a terrorist group:
"Political associations are banned from making any kind of contact with the Lebanese Hezbollah organization, for it (is) a terrorist organization," the official Bahrain news agency BNA quoted an order issued by the justice and Islamic affairs minister, Sheikh Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa, as saying...
Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, in comments on Twitter on Sunday, branded Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah a "terrorist" after the Hezbollah leader proclaimed that his fighters would help deliver victory for Assad in Syria's war.
The minister's comments marked a departure from the traditional Arab view of Hezbollah as an important "resistance" force against Israel and showed how sectarian strains in the region have worsened over the war on Syria.
Bahrain was a sectarian wedge in the Arab Spring before Syria was, though in a somewhat manufactured was, as a lot of media manipulation was required to denigrate the mainly Shi'ite but ideologically non-sectarian opposition to those outside the country.  Syria, however, has proven a more divisive field, and Hizbullah walked right into it.

More directly, rockets have struck Hizbullah's strongholds in south Beirut:
The attack on the Beirut suburb of Chiyah was limited in scale - four Syrian labourers were wounded and some windows were smashed - but its implications could be far reaching...
Some Syrian rebels have said the war would soon arrive on Hizbollah's home turf if the group continued to fight alongside Bashar Al Assad's forces inside Syria. That pledge seems to have been borne out.
The rockets were fired less than 24 hours after Hizbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, delivered an apocalyptic warning that his forces were engaged in an "existential war" and that thousands of his loyalists were prepared to die in pursuit of victory.

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