Hezbollah Suffers Severe Losses in Syria
The Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah has been active in Syria, fighting on the side of President Bashar Assad. However, that support, which was reportedly forced on Hezbollah by its backer Iran, has come with heavy costs for the terror organization.
Over the last several weeks, the fighting for the rebel-held town of Yabroud has left over 120 Hezbollah fighters dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Lebanese Daily Star quotes a Hezbollah source saying a total of 500 Hezbollah fighters have died since the group joined the Syrian war, noting that the Yabroud battle marks a drastic increase in losses.
Yabroud is located in an important strategic area, as it is the last town giving rebels access to supply lines in Lebanon. The town is in the Qalamoun Mountains, a crucial point of conflict given as it is held by the rebels and is a corridor to the Lebanese town of Arsal.
Hezbollah second-in-command Sheikh Naim Qassem in February highlighted the religious sectarianism fueling his group's involvement in Syria, when he attacked Syrian rebels as "takfiris" - a derogatory word for Sunni Muslim extremists.
Qassem further pledged his group's ongoing military involvement, signifying that despite the heavy losses the terror organization is likely to continue its military presence in Syria.
On another front, two weeks ago Hezbollah threatened revenge against Israel after a transfer of missiles from Syria was destroyed in an air strike. In the threat, Hezbollah warned it would strike at "the appropriate time, place and means."
The missiles, destroyed in the strike near the Syrian-Lebanese border, reportedly could carry warheads heavier and more dangerous than almost all of Hezbollah's current massive arsenal.