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After Tripartite Tehran Meeting, Hezbollah Deploys Hundreds of Added Militants to Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut- Reports issued from the tripartite Iranian-Russian-Syrian meeting held in Tehran last week highlighted the decision on reinforcing battlefronts, especially those at Aleppo and Raqqa, in Syria with more so-called Hezbollah militants. The so-called Hezbollah, over the last few days, has been rumored to transfer hundreds of members to Syria – a great part of which belonging to the elite squad named by “al-Rezwan party”- the elite at large comprises members with Beqaa and Beirut suburbs provenance.

Well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Hezbollah has effectively kick-started implementing the meeting’s outcome by deploying further Iranian and Hezbollah militants to Syria.

The Tehran-held trilateral meeting brought together each of Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu, Syrian regime chief of staff Fahd Jassem al-Freij and Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan . Moreover, the meeting headlined joint cooperation for fighting terrorism, ISIS and al-Nusra Front chiefly. Despite that being said, the principal understanding reached was the increase the numbers of Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Iran fighters on Syrian grounds.

Sources were unable to define the number of additional Hezbollah members being dispatched to Syria; however, it is estimated to be in hundreds.

Lebanon-based website “Lebanon 24” cited anonymous sources on the so-called Hezbollah group deploying over a thousand militants over the past few days. Sent off to Syria, the members are expected to engage in some unidentified battle.

The sources gave emphasis that the largest part of members dispatched belong to the elite squad known by al-Rezwan party, most of which originating from the Beqaa region in Lebanon and Beirut suburbs.

Sources mentioned a number of scenarios as to where the Hezbollah members are heading for. The primary and most likely destination being the ISIS-sieged city, Deir el-Zor. The city’s strategic location, given that it is the chief connection between Iraq and Syria, makes it the most probable destination for the recently deployed militants.

The second most-likely assumption is that Hezbollah militants will be heading for Raqqa as to participate in the battle which the group has long stood away from. Noteworthy, the Raqqa battle has entered the second phase post the seizure of al-Tabaqa airport.

The third supposition is that Hezbollah combatants have been deployed for mission preparation concerning the upcoming Aleppo battle; nonetheless, sources considered that it is the least likely for the Aleppo scenario to be the case. The option is less likely to happen based on the registered and remarkable fallback of Hezbollah members in Aleppo which was met with the doubling of the Iranian presence. The Aleppo battle is strictly dependent on the combination of Russian air power and Iranian ground troops.

Ali al-Amin, a Shi’ite and a Hezbollah-opposing cleric, said that the number of Hezbollah members fighting in Syria has exceeded 10 thousand. He added that over 95 percent of Hezbollah recruits have fought in Syria.

Al-Amin told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the recent trilateral Tehran meeting chiefly discussed the aftermath of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Russia. The meeting eventually resolved to bolstering coordination among the three parties, which most recent interpretation is the Russian bombardment of Aleppo a few days ago.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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