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Hezbollah members carry mock rockets..(Photo by: REUTERS/Ali Hashisho)
Hezbollah suffers sharp increase in casualties in Syria fighting
By Ariel Ben Solomon
Source tells newspaper 500 fighters killed in action; more than 120 Hezbollah fighters were killed in clashes around Yabroud.
The number of Hezbollah terrorists dying in Syria has increased significantly in March.

Hezbollah, along with the Syrian army, are battling for the opposition held town of Yabroud, which is in the Qalamoun mountains.

Hezbollah announced that 15 of its members died this month, saying they carried out their “jihadist duty” as funerals were held throughout Lebanon, reported Lebanon’s The Daily Star.

A source close to Hezbollah told the Lebanese newspaper that around 500 fighters have been killed since the group began fighting in the Syrian civil war.

More than 120 Hezbollah fighters were killed in clashes around Yabroud, according to a statement posted on the website of the British based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday, which identifies with the rebels.

Separately, Hezbollah is losing popularity at home because of rising crime rates in the Bekaa Valley, a senior political source close to the March 8 Alliance, told The Daily Star on Sunday.

Kidnappings, drug use and car thefts have increased since the war in Syria began three years ago and the organization is known to be lax in enforcing the law in order to gain favor with the various clans that hold sway in the region.

Hezbollah has its hands full and is unable to adequately address the problem as it fights in Syria and struggles against its opponents in Lebanon, said the source.

“Whether we like it or not, Hezbollah’s leniency toward security breaches in the Baalbek- Hermel area could be interpreted as giving a cover for criminals to pursue their activity,” said the source.

“We must also emphasize here that not all the supporters of Hezbollah, or any other party for that matter, are good or honest people,” he said according to the report.
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