US media details Hezbollah's spread throughout Middle East
The New York Times publishes report describing how the Iranian-backed terror group, which it says has become an invaluable instrument in Tehran’s ambitions of regional domination, has stretched its influence far beyond the borders of Lebanon and Syria, into Iraq and Yemen; report documents modus operandi of recruiting new fighters.
The report details how Hezbollah has, over the years, become one of the most invaluable instruments in Iran’s arsenal as it pursues regional domination.
In Syria, Hezbollah and Tehran have dedicated their military resources to maintaining President Bashar al-Assad grasp on power, while in Iraq they have sent fighters to battle ISIS in yet another bid to advance Iranian interests.
Skipping the vast stretches of Saudi Arabia to Iraq’s south, Hezbollah has also penetrated Yemen, where they facilitated an occupation of the capital by local rebels, thereby dragging Riyadh—Iran’s arch nemesis—into the hostilities.
The report also acknowledges Hezbollah’s stationing of military forces along the Israel-Lebanon border as it prepares for another showdown with the IDF.
Members of militias interviewed in Iraq explained the modus operandi of the recruitment process with Iranian support to fight against ISIS.
Some of the new recruits trained in Iraq, while some were sent for 15-day training periods in Iran itself before being flown to Syria. More experienced fighters participated in advanced courses led by commanders from Iran and from Hezbollah either in Iran or Lebanon.
The New York Times report goes on to say Iranian officers were responsible for the cooperative operations that materialized between Syrian ground forces and the Russian air force, while Hezbollah provided field commanders.
In Yemen, the report continues, Iran and its terror proxy established contact with Houthi rebels who in 2014 seized control of the country’s capital Sana'a, paving the way for the dismantling of the government and providing the pretext for the Saudis to launch, along with its allies, an aerial campaign.
According to one man interviewed in the report, the Houthi rebels had already begun training in Lebanon for the eventual occupation of Sana’a and in 2012, two Hezbollah militants were arrested in Yemen.