FSA says Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria

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Hezbollah has deployed thousands of fighters in Damascus and in the Syrian border with Lebanon, a Syrian Free Army spokesman told Al Arabiya on Wednesday.

Col. Abdul-Hamid Zakaria, spokesman for the FSA’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said more than 2,000 members of Hezbollah are fighting alongside regime forces in Damascus and an estimated 3,500 others were deployed along the Syrian border with Lebanon.

On Tuesday, Al Arabiya television reported, quoting sources close to the Lebanese armed movement, that 12 members of Hezbollah have been killed in an ambush near Damascus.

More than 20 other Hezbollah members, part of an alleged military brigade deployed in Syria to defend President Bashar al-Assad, were also wounded in the attack, the sources said.

The wounded were transferred to a hospital in the south of Beirut, the sources said, adding that Hezbollah is tightlipped about the issue.

FSA Col. Zakaria said large defections within the army of Assad made him increasingly reliant on foreign militias.

“Assad’s army has started to shiver as a consequence of the successive defections, especially the recent defections of several officers and soldiers from the Syrian Republican Guard,” he said.

“After the termination of local shabiha mercenaries, Assad’s gangs are now relying on foreign bloodthirsty mercenaries from Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah’s mini-state in Lebanon,” the FSA spokesman said.

SANA Revolution news agency reported that FSA fighters engaged in clashes Tuesday with Hezbollah’s Abbas brigade based in Damascus.

Col. Malik al-Kurdi, the FSA's deputy leader, said that there is a large number of Hezbollah fighters involved in the battles taking place near the Sayeda Zeinab and Qusayr districts of Damascus.

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