Report: 700 Somali volunteers fought alongside Hizbullah
UN report, quoted by New York Times, reveals members of Islamist Somali militia traveled to Lebanon this summer to join forces with Hizbullah in war against Israel. In return, militia was given training, weapons and financial support by Iran, Syria
Over 700 Somali fighters joined Hizbullah in its war against Israel this past summer, a United Nations report revealed. According to the report, quoted by the New York Times, Hizbullah provided the Islamist Somali militias with training and weapons, through Iran and Syria, in exchange for their assistance.
The report also said that Iran sought to trade arms for uranium from Somalia to further its nuclear ambitions, though it does not say whether Iran succeeded, the Times reported.
According to the report, in mid-July, Aden Hashi Farah, a leader of the Somali Islamist alliance, personally hand-picked some 720 fighters to travel to Lebanon and fight alongside the Lebanese organization.
It said that at least 100 Somalis had returned by the beginning of September, with five Hizbullah members, while others stayed on in Lebanon for advanced military training.
The fighters were paid a minimum of USD 2,000, the report stated, and up to USD 30,000 was to be given to the families of those killed. The money was donated by “a number of supporting countries.”
Hizbullah not only trained the fighters, but also arranged for support to be given by Iran and Syria in the form of weapons.
The report further indicated that Iran appears to have sought help in its quest for uranium in Dusa Mareb, the hometown of Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of the Islamist alliance in Somalia.
“At the time of the writing of this report, there were two Iranians in Dusa Mareb engaged on matters linked to the exploration of uranium in exchange for arms” the report claimed.