Daily Israel Report

Report: Seven Hezbollah Fighters Killed in Syria

Arab media outlets publish picture of men, killed fighting Syrian rebels.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 9/18/2013, 11:11 AM

Hezbollah funeral, September 13th
Hezbollah funeral, September 13th
Reuters

Seven Hezbollah fighters have been killed in the past day's fighting in Syria, according to reports in the Arab media.

Lebanon's Al Mustaqbal newspaper, which is aligned with the anti-Hezbollah March 14 Alliance,  cited "well-informed sources" who said that the men had been killed "in the last few hours," fighting Syrian rebel forces opposed to the Assad regime.

Following the report, a number of other Arabic-language media outlets published photos they said were of the slain men, who were identified as Zuheir Shawqi Salameh, Youssef Helmi Halawi, Hassan Saleh Mustafa, Ali Nayef Tleiss, Hussein Ghaleb Matar, Hassan Nassereddine and Assaad Ahmad Bazal.

Fighters from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group have been battling alongside Syrian regime forces in an attempt to quell the ongoing and bloody rebellion against the government of Bashar al-Assad. 

In June, Hezbollah forces were said to have played a key role in recapturing the disputed Al Qusair region in western Syria, along the Lebanese border.

Their involvement in the Syrian civil war is but one sign of the spread of the conflict beyond Syria's borders, as part of a wider sectarian struggle between the Shia and Sunni streams of Islam.

Foreign Sunni Islamist fighters from the Middle East, northern Africa and even western states have been streaming in to Syria to join the predominantly Sunni-Arab rebel movement against the Syrian regime.

But whilst Assad and his supporters regularly point to the presence of foreign radicals supporting rebel forces, the regime itself has become increasingly reliant on Shia fighters from Lebanon and Iraq - alongside loyalist  "civilian militias" - to supplement its overstretched regular armed forces.

On Sunday, video surfaced showing the clearest evidence yet of the active involvement of Iranian soldiers on the battlefield, as they trained and fought alongside pro-government militias.