Over 1000 Hezbollah fighters arrive in Syria to back Assad forces

Hezbollah fighters march and while carrying their movement’s flag. (Courtesy of AP)

Over 1,000 members of the Lebanese Shitte militant group, Hezbollah, entered Syria in the past few days via waterways in the Mediterranean Sea, Saudi daily al-Watan reported on Sunday.

According to the report, around 1,200 fighters arrived to Syria's Tartus port in order to fight alongside regime troops.

The armed members who arrived from Lebanon to Syria committed "a hideous crime" in the town of Talkalkh, the daily said, adding that tens of thousands of fighters entered from Iraq to aid the Syrian regime.

The United States, Canada and Israel have long blacklisted the Shiite group, allowing them to criminalize Hezbollah activities, freeze its bank accounts and monitor suspected members.

In Europe, only the Netherlands lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group, while Britain blacklists its military wing.

Last week, Bahrain became the first Arab country to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The daily quoted sources as saying that the Damascus regime "is resorting to the aid of fighters from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which implies that the Syrian recruits' desire to fight alongside the regime is decreasing."

The source added that reservists are also not complying with the army command's repeated calls to join the regime troops in their fighting.

The regime has also been arresting men in their forties and forcing them to join recruitment camps so they join the fighting between regime troops and the rebels, the daily added.

On Saturday, it was reported that at least forty Hezbollah fighters and Syrian soldiers were killed in recent clashes with opposition fighters in the strategic town of al-Qusayr in Homs province, activists said, according to Al Arabiya.

In clashes with Syrian troops in Qusayr, the opposition fighters described on Friday what they called the “biggest intervention” by Lebanese militant movement, Hezbollah, in the two-year conflict that started as protests against President Bashar al-Assad but morphed into a civil war.

Qusayr is a contested central Syrian town near a key highway between Damascus and the coast.

On Tuesday, Bahrain became the first Arab country to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Its alleged backing and training of radical Shiite groups against Bahrain was the main reason given for the decision.
Elsewhere in the world, the United States, Canada and Israel have long blacklisted the group, allowing them to criminalize Hezbollah activities, freeze its bank accounts and monitor suspected members.

In Europe, only the Netherlands lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group, while Britain blacklists its military wing.

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Last Update: 11:24 KSA 14:24 - GMT 11:24
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