February 24, 2014


Al-Qaida unlikely to force Hezbollah out of Syria (ARIEL BEN SOLOMON, 02/21/2014, Jerusalem Post)

Two of the main jihadist groups involved in Syria, the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have claimed responsibility for bombings against Shi'ite targets in Lebanon.

To strike back against the Sunnis, Hezbollah and Iran participate in the conflict beyond Lebanese borders, with an emphasis on the Sunni- Shi'ite battle in Syria.

"I don't think it will affect Hezbollah's involvement in Syria," Tony Badran, a columnist for the Beirut-based website NOW Lebanon and a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Wednesday.

The attack comes right after a major campaign by Hezbollah - with reported indirect US intelligence help - to catch the masterminds of bombings that have targeted Iranian and Hezbollah targets, he said.

In recent months, Lebanese intelligence services have arrested various figures linked to the group, including Naim Abbas, a suspected commander in the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

Hezbollah expected the new cabinet to give it more freedom to go after its Sunni enemies. The new government serves as a cover for Lebanese security operations in certain Sunni areas, Badran added.

Posted by at February 24, 2014 1:38 PM

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