The Shia terror group didn’t officially publish any of the pictures.
Lebanese media outlets are struggling to understand the message Hezbollah is trying to send with these pictures, especially since the pictures weren’t published by the terror group itself.
Meanwhile, commentators on various social media sites are claiming that some of the materiel – including tracked vehicles - seen in the pictures are US made and taken from the Lebanese military.
The Syrian rebels were having a field day over the pictures, claiming that this was just further confirmation that Hezbollah are the ones who are really in charge in Syria, while the anti-Hezbollah March 14 coalition came out against the pictures, with one of the coalition leaders tweeting that the pictures “shatter all hope to restore the dignity and the image of the state.”
“Hezbollah has flagrantly shown off its military forces in occupied Syria, and has taken advantage of the political cover it has received following the new President’s inauguration and the government’s seal of approval,” the official said. “What will this strong president say to the Lebanese people regarding this armed militia which has turned into an army, is participating in the occupation of Syria, and is taking part in the massacre of the Syrian nation?”
Various other news sources affiliated with Hezbollah, such as al-Safir, welcomed the pictures of the forces in the Qusayr area, located on the border with Lebanon.
“Any future campaign will not be limited to Lebanese territory – a firm message to Israel and the terrorists,” the newspaper wrote.
The newspaper noted that this is Hezbollah’s first show of force outside of Lebanon, and the first time it is showing off its tracked vehicles.
The US State Department said it is investigating the incident.
Ynetnews military affairs analyst Ron Ben Yishai notes that the forces being shown off before the cameras are part of Hezbollah’s armored division which was established exactly a year ago. Amongst the equipment shown are T-72 tanks M-113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) – the latter also in use by the IDF.
It seems that the Lebanese military were the original recipients of the APCs.
A quick response motorcycle unit was also on display.
Hezbollah also showed of European made military grade all terrain vehicles with Kornet anti-tank missiles attached to them, along with other light tanks. Hezbollah is known to currently be in possession of 130,000 missiles, and has greatly increased its capabilities after receiving weapons from the Syrian military.
The purpose of the show of force was to prove that the terror organization is able to incorporate its armored division with anti-tank missiles – an ability which usually only national militaries have. This is proof that Hezbollah is a “hybrid army,” meaning it is a guerrilla group which can blend into the civilian population, while at the same time has the ability to carry out armored division style attacks.