Hezbollah has ramped up its support for the Syrian government, sending in military advisers to aid in the bloody struggle against the opposition, US and Lebanese government officials say.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that support had increased since a July 18 bomb attack in Damascus that killed four senior security officials, including Assef Shawkat, Assad’s brother-in-law.
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“Hezbollah has been active in supporting the Syrian regime with their own militia,” said a Lebanese government official allied with a political bloc opposed to Hezbollah. “They’ve been quite involved in a combat role, quite involved in fighting.”
According to the source, quiet burials are being held in Hezbollah-dominated areas of Lebanon, with the families of the “martyrs” warned not to discuss the circumstances of their sons’ deaths.
Fighting continues in Aleppo (Photo: AFP)
US officials did not confirm Hezbollah's involvement in fighting in Syria but earlier this month accused the Shiite group of aiding Assad's regime. The US Treasury Department announced sanctions against Hassan Nasrallah and two other Hezbollah leaders in connection with the group’s activities in Syria.
The department accused Hezbollah of “providing training, advice, and extensive logistical support to the Government of Syria.” Hezbollah has also helped the Syrian government push rebel forces from some areas in Syria, the Treasury Department said.
Assad is also receiving support from his strongest ally – Iran. Late last month, a top Iranian general admitted that Iran is sending troops to help Syria fight the rebels.
Meanwhile, members of the Revolutionary Guards told the Wall Street Journal that Tehran sent hundreds of soldiers to Syria as well as military equipment and cash through Iranian firms in Iraq.
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