Did Hezbollah’s sheriff kill his deputy?

The answer to that question may take years to answer, let alone uncover all the details behind it

Salman Al-Ansari
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Did Hassan Nasrallah kill Mustafa Badreddine? The answer to that question may take years to answer, let alone uncover all the details behind it. However, what appears to be the case is that Nasrallah’s recent erratic behavior, which illustrates a state of personal turmoil and tension, appears to indicate something beyond that.

To analysts, attempting to understand every aspect of Badreddine’s assassination is like standing on the tip of an unruly iceberg, the base of which is covered by a fog of colossal ambiguity. Hezbollah initially accused Israel of murdering Badreddine, a statement which it later rescinded.


They claimed that they will investigate the incident, and soon after blamed it on rebel shelling by opposing “takfiri” groups, of which denied any involvement. This suggests that there is a state of disorganization and confusion within Hezbollah’s ranks.

Additionally, in the not-too-distant past, there were conflicting views between Iranian leadership in Tehran and Hezbollah, revealing a state of discontent between Iran and those they’re issuing orders to on the ground. It appears that Iranian financiers are dissatisfied with their subordinates in Lebanon, especially after their failure in Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Using its proxies, such as Hezbollah and others, Iran has interfered in the affairs of every corner the Middle East. No country, Arab or otherwise, has been spared from its deviousness. To this very moment, entire generations across the world have been stung by the pain of loss and bereavement at the hands of Iran’s deceptiveness, whether they’re in Beirut, the beacon of Arab culture and progressive thought, or in targets across the region, be they in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and many others.

Let us not forget that not only innocent civilians in Iraq, Syria and Yemen have fallen victim to Iranian-sponsored terrorism, but also in the very heart of the American capital in 2009, when they tried to bomb Cafe Milano Washington, DC, in an attempt to assassinate the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States and now Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir.

Hassan Nasrallah looks to be slipping into a state of anxiety and panic. Unless he had other calculations, he may have feared being replaced by the highly reputable, charismatic military leader and Iranian favorite, Badreddine

Salman Al-Ansari

I’m merely pointing out facts that affirm that Hezbollah is an unpredictable, volatile and unstable terrorist organization. Its senior members, whether it’s the one recently killed a few days ago in the suburbs of Damascus, or his predecessor, Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s former international operations chief (who was also assassinated around the same area in 2008), have both been involved in terrorist operations in Beirut, Lebanon.

The most notable of these operations is the bombing of a Marine compound in Beirut, which reportedly claimed the lives of 241 Marines. Hezbollah’s terrorism records also reveal that they were behind the 1983 Kuwait bombings, perpetrated by the now infamous “Kuwait 17”. The deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, adamantly acknowledged that these bombings would be “the starting point for the idea of hostages, to impose pressure for the release of prisoners in Israel and elsewhere.”

A little-known yet crucial aspect of Badreddine’s murder (of whom Bashar Al-Assad’s regime failed to protect in Damascus) which Hezbollah is trying to hide is that the US treasury department has filed his name under the list of terror financiers. Adam J. Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence even mentioned that they are “committed to exposing and disrupting these networks to pressure Hezbollah’s finances and degrade its ability to foment violence in Lebanon, Syria, and across the region.”

State of divisiveness

Another aspect of the Badreddine incident is what we alluded to earlier, which was the curious state of divisiveness and disarray between Hezbollah officials in Lebanon and their counterparts in Tehran. It appears that the killing of many members of the revolutionary guard in Syria has caused a bit a gaping chasm between the two parties.

It also appears that Hezbollah’s deflation and state of corrosion is really starting to take its toll. In fact, I would not be surprised if there are already Iranian plans to replace Hassan Nasrallah if he failed to achieve their ends in many fronts, especially Syria and Yemen. Not to mention, his finances have been rapidly dwindling, thanks to Saudi-American cooperation that choked his monetary resources by listing them under “terrorist organizations”.

Hassan Nasrallah looks to be slipping into a state of anxiety and panic. Unless he had other calculations, he may have feared being replaced by the highly reputable, charismatic military leader and Iranian favorite, Badreddine.

Now that Nasrallah is being accused of murdering him, he is left virtually unable to function and operate with the same level confidence and brashness he usually has, especially since such a costly mistake may very well carry him all the way to Tehran’s guillotine.

Time will tell whether he actually committed this mistake, or if it will be one his last.

Salman Al-Ansari is the founder and president of the Washington DC-based Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC). He is a Saudi writer and political commentator. He is specialized in Strategic and political communication and a frequent guest at Al Arabiya TV channel and other international media platforms, such as CNN and CNNArabic. He has been quoted numerous times in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Financial Times, and the New York Times. Besides his native Arabic language, he’s fluent in both English and Spanish with a US degree in Communication from Saint Louis University. He's active on social media with over 45K followers in twitter and has been regarded as one of the most influential media personalities in Saudi Arabia by the Saudi observatory organization "Elmam"

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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