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Don’t partner with Hezbollah! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Finally, nearly 18 months after the start of the Syrian revolution, Washington has officially decided that the Tehran-affiliated Hezbollah movement in Lebanon is implicated in supporting the al-Assad regime, with training and advice. In addition to this, Hezbollah is also – with the aid of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp [IRGC] – providing transportation and supplies to al-Assad.

We say, “finally”, because the US administration preoccupied the western media with talk about an Al Qaeda presence in Syria, and support for the Syrian revolutionaries, and this is something that corresponds to the misleading story being propagated by al-Assad. Talk about Al Qaeda in Syria figured prominently amongst those attempting to defend al-Assad, who promoted such stories, not to mention those who denied this and attempted to shed light on the suffering of the Syrian people, particularly as Al Qaeda is in fact a strong ally of the al-Assad regime. This can be seen by al-Assad’s utilization of “Al Qaeda in Iraq” immediately following the US invasion of the country, which is something that continued until very recently.

Today, Washington has acknowledged Hezbollah’s interventions [in Syria], something that the people of Syria – not to mention the region – have been well aware of. Indeed, Hassan Nasrallah’s own statements do not conceal this fact, for the Hezbollah chief announced his support for al-Assad in every statement that he has issued. In fact, Nasrallah described the four senior al-Assad regime security officers, including former Syrian deputy defense minister Assef Shawkat, who were killed last month, as martyrs, despite everything that had done against the people of Syria!

However the story here is not that of Hezbollah solely supporting al-Assad, for the IRGC has also been implicated in Syria, most recently by the Iranian officers who have been captured by the Free Syrian Army [FSA]. Of course, we have also heard official statements from Iran stressing that Tehran will not accept the destruction of the axis of resistance, which the al-Assad regime is a key element of. In addition to this, there is more evidence of Iran role in Syria. However despite all this overwhelming evidence, the West – particularly Washington – continued to speak about sectarianism, proxy war and Al Qaeda, as well as other lame excuses, all the while al-Assad continued to kill the unarmed Syrian people. This was before the Syrian rebels took up arms, although they are outmatched by al-Assad’s arms, which he receives from Iran and Hezbollah and Moscow, not to mention fighters and military experts.

So Washington has finally acknowledged Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria, in partnership with Iran, to aid the criminal al-Assad regime to suppress the Syrian revolution, however the question that must be asked here is: who will defend the unarmed Syrian people? Who will stand with them after the UN Security Council has been unable to stop the al-Assad killing machine? Should the Syrian people endure these killings and war crimes until after Mr. Obama has finished with the forthcoming US presidential elections? This is incredible, and unbelievable, for the issue is not just the humanitarian aspects of the situation – although these are most important – for delay in supporting the Syrian rebels will lead to the complete destruction of Syria, in addition to threatening the security of the region as a whole.

So what we must be aware of today is that al-Assad’s fall is inevitable, however delaying this will mean paying a higher price, therefore we must arm the Syrian revolutionaries, impose buffer zones, as well as a no-fly zone. Doing otherwise is nothing more than being partners with Iran and Hezbollah in suppressing the Syrian people, as well as placing the security of the region as a whole at even greater risk.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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