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Hezbollah fighters ‘don’t trust’ the Assad army, prefer to fight in Syria on their own

A popular Lebanese website has published an exclusive, eye-opening interview with Hezbollah Lebanon fighters who participated in battles inside Syria.[1] The Lebanon Debate article summarising the interview focuses on the deteriorating relationship between Hezbollah and the Syrian army, but it raises important questions about Hezbollah’s role in Syria, whose aims and agenda it is serving, and who is in control on the ground in Syria, the al-Assad’s army or Sepah Pasdaran and its offshoots? Below are excerpts from the article, which was published in Arabic on 2 February 2014.

There are some soldiers in the Syrian army who are sympathetic to the opposition, and others who would sell information to anyone who pays for it.

We got to a point where we, in Hezbollah, could no longer go to sleep altogether. One or two people would stay up to ensure that we won’t be betrayed one night.

During the Qusayr battle, it became necessary that one Hezbollah member would accompany every Syrian army tank. And this procedure is still followed to date in all the battles in which Hezbollah fighters participate.

This issue [untrustworthy Syrian army officers] is being dealt with by bringing in non-Syrian pilots in order to ensure the precision of air strikes against target sites.

The fighters of the Civil Defense do not betray. They fight to the last moment and follow orders. These we trust a lot, and the [Hezbollah] leadership now prefers to fight battles jointly with them rather than with any other Syrian armed formation.



The interviewees’ account of the Qusayr and Eastern Ghouta battles corroborate other, rare accounts by Hezbollah fighters that have been published in the past.[2] So it is safe, we think, to believe what they say in this interview.

One important question for us Iranians is: are some of these non-Syrian pilots bombing Syrian cities Iranian? Are they responsible for some of the massacres resulting from these air strikes on civilian areas?


The so-called Civil Defense is a Baathist paramilitary loyal to Bashar al-Assad set up and armed by the Syrian regime to prop up the exhausted or untrustworthy army. It is reportedly trained by Hezbollah and Sepah Qods commanders.

Qusayr is situated between Homs and Lebanon’s Hermel region, which is controlled by Hezbollah Lebanon and apparently hosts some if its important arms stocks. Qusayr was taken by Hezbollah and other militias supporting the Syrian regime in summer 2013. One of the reasons was Hezbollah was so worried about this battle and got so heavily involved is apparently to secure arms shipments from Iran from the Syrian coast to the Hermel region.

[2] e.g.

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