Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Iranian leadership decided to “put all its weight into the ongoing battle in Syria,” according to Iranian sources quoted by the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai al-Aam on Friday. The decision was made in order to address the Arab-Turkish role in Syria, which is working to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Iran was counting on key advances on the ground within the next two months, according to the sources, before a meeting between the American and Russian presidents, which will likely deal with the Syrian conflict.
Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to make a public speech soon after a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the commander of the al-Quds force, Gen.
Qasem Soleimani and other important Iranian officials.
Meanwhile, the AFP press agency reported that the eastern Lebanese city of Hermel, a Hezbollah stronghold, was hit on Saturday for the first time in the conflict.
Hazem al-Amin, writing on the Al Arabiya website, says that Hezbollah has recently changed its public relations approach to the conflict, now arguing that it is fighting a “pre-emptive war that aims to thwart threats before they extend and reach us.”
This seems to refer to worry by the organization that if the Sunni Islamist-dominated rebels take over Syria, they could turn their guns on them next. It also reflects a change of tactic in what seems to be a failing public media campaign to defend its involvement in Syria. This comes after a report last week by the Asharq al-Awsat daily describing dissent within the organization.
Of course, claims made in the Sunni Gulf media must be cautiously approached: given the Gulf states’ wellknown backing for the Syrian opposition, reports reflecting poorly on Hezbollah are to be expected.