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The Battle for Syria

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Hezbollah Continues to Incur Heavy Losses in Syrian fighting

July 23rd 2013

Syrian Rebel w/SAW

The number of losses Hezbollah has suffered during its involvement in the Syrian civil war is immense, especially during the final battle for Al-Qusayr, this according to a report released by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC). The assessment of the ITIC is that Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war has cost the terror organization almost 180 deaths and several hundred wounded. This assessment is based on ITIC having located 82 names of operatives recently killed, in addition to 96 names previously found. The numbers continue to rise as the fighting ensues.

Most of the Hezbollah operatives killed (120)  met their deaths during the campaign for Al-Qusayr, the majority of them (114) in the final battle that began on May 19, 2013, and ended on June 5, 2013, with the takeover of the city by Assad's forces and the Hezbollah.

Several dozen Hezbollah operatives were killed defending the Shi'ite holy site of the grave of Al-Set Zaynab and others in other battle sites. In addition, ITIC have names of several other Hezbollah operatives who were killed but without data about the location or circumstances of their deaths, only short Hezbollah announcements that they were killed while engaged in carrying out the duty of jihad in Syria. Some of the operatives may have been killed in the battles in the Aleppo region where there is Hezbollah involvement, although its role is secondary.

The ITIC assess that the heavy losses are because Hezbollah was a main combatant in the fighting, its operatives were fighting offensively in an unfamiliar urban setting, and the rebels apparently showed strong resistance, especially fighters from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front which fought alongside the rebels who, according to media reports, suffered heavy losses as well.

The large number of losses has fueled criticism of Hezbollah inside Lebanon and among the Lebanese Shi'ites, although the level of criticism is apparently still tolerable as far as Hezbollah is concerned and does not keep the organization from being further drawn into the Syrian civil war. However, in the ITIC's assessment, the significant number of losses in Al-Qusayr may influence the way Hezbollah supports the Syrian army in the pending campaign to take over the Aleppo area.

A senior IDF intelligence officer told Tazpit News Agency that he estimates that Hezbollah's casualties are higher 250 dead. According to some reports, Khader Nassrallah, brother of Hezbollah head Hasan Nassrallah, was killed in the fighting. He points out that this attests to the significance that Nassrallah has placed on the fighting in Syria. As a result of Hezbollah's involvement in Syria the fighting has spread into Lebanon, the most significant event occurring on July 9th , when a car bomb exploded in the middle of the Hezbollah controlled Dahyah neighborhood in Beirut. These events may develop into a full scale civil war. He assess that in the long term, Hezbollah will suffer the consequences of its involvement in Syria, especially losing financial support which is essential for its survival. For this reason they have joined Assad, hoping for further financing by his regime, as well as weapons and logistic support. As for Israel, the source believes there is no real implication for Israel's security, as the Hezbollah will be able to recover its losses over a period of a few years and will be able to train new men to replace its casualties. What needs to be monitored is Hezbollah's political, financial and military relations with its Arab and Muslim counterparts, and with them they may find their demise.


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