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‘Hezbollah’ Repositions Itself on Syria Border Despite Pullout Announcement | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A “Hezbollah” member patrols the Qalamoun hills close to the Lebanese border with Syria. AFP file photo

Beirut- The recent announcement of Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” that it was dismantling its positions along the Lebanese-Syrian border has not been met with implementation on the ground.

Sources following up the party’s moves said that “Hezbollah” hasn’t made an actual withdrawal, but rather repositioned itself in certain areas.

The sources said the party’s militants pulled out from several locations but expanded their presence in other areas.

Hezbollah’s move on the Lebanese side of the border is most likely met with a similar operation on the Syrian side.

A Lebanese military expert told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Hezbollah’s existence and military power contradict with a pullout from the Lebanese-Syrian border despite its shrewdness in promoting for that.”

The expert, who refused to be identified, said that “militarily, Hezbollah continues to preserve its force on the border to protect its supply line.”

“But politically and in terms of security, it is capable of holding the Lebanese state and the army responsible for any future security breach on the border,” he said.

“Hezbollah” Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah declared last week that the party “completed its mission” along Lebanon’s border with Syria, leaving the arena to the Lebanese state.

He announced that “Hezbollah” has “dismantled its positions” along the border.

Nasrallah also called on the Lebanese state “to assume its responsibilities in protecting the eastern border and preventing the infiltration of gunmen from Syria to Lebanon.”

On the Syrian side of the border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted “reliable” sources as saying that “Hezbollah continues to maintain its positions in al-Qalamoun and its outskirts.”

“The party withdrew its members from several bases … but redeployed them in areas that it considers highly important,” the sources said.