Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Hezbollah, why so silent? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo—An image grab from Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon’s militant Shi’ite Muslim movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location on September 23, 2013 in Lebanon. (AFP PHOTO / AL-MANAR)

Why hasn’t Hezbollah denied the authenticity of the video—uploaded onto YouTube—allegedly showing Hezbollah fighters executing gravely wounded Syrians in Al-Qusayr?

Many have waited for Hezbollah to issue a statement regarding the images that are circulating, but so far no one has commented on them.

The harsh images showed men who appeared to be Hezbollah fighters, with their yellow badges and Lebanese accents, throwing the wounded on the ground and executing them with their machine guns. The video seemed very real, which made it all the more harsh and shocking.

The video lifted the unfortunate cloud of doubt that has been hanging over Hezbollah: it clearly depicted Hezbollah fighters killing helpless wounded Syrians, as their commander had urged them. Some fighters were reluctant about killing the wounded so their commander told them to execute them as stated by the “religious order.”

Many media sources, especially Lebanese outlets, did not air these images but Facebook and Twitter pages were stormed with comments by those who believed the video was authentic and by those who contested it. Some were sure that the party would immediately declare that those involved were not Hezbollah fighters and that the circulated images do not represent the party’s ethics.

Some journalists and activists tried to defend the party saying that Hezbollah did not perform such practices, even during the wars against Israel. Hours and days passed by and the party did not comment on the video. Some of the party supporters even said on their social pages that what Hezbollah’s opponents did was worse and the party is not the only one who committed such practices.

These reactions are trying to hide the fact that the videos depict Hezbollah fighters, but at the same time, they claim that what their opponents committed was worse and more severe.

A few months ago, photos showing Hezbollah members, when the Syrian regime recaptured the city of Al-Qusayr, were circulated. Back then, Hezbollah fighters had deployed the party’s flags and religious slogans on one of the mosques in Al-Qusayr, and the pictures were not refuted. A few weeks later, Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, justified the images claiming that the soldiers were in a Shi’ite mosque.

Shall we expect Nasrallah to come out again in a few weeks to defend the resistance? And explain how Hezbollah is protecting the resistance axis? And also move quickly to justify the killing of wounded soldiers, as he did in Al-Qusayr?

Hezbollah’s video proves once again that the party’s involvement in Syria has trapped it into a tornado-like conflict that is unlike any other war. The party is now part of a machine that oppresses the Syrian people, its members are now classified as war criminals who should be prosecuted.

This is now a crystal clear fact for the Arab and international community. It cannot be negated and its consequences on Hezbollah, its followers and Lebanon as a whole, can no longer be ignored. The video underlines this but the silence of Hezbollah emphasizes it further.