Hezbollah execution video may increase regional tension
A video posted on the internet shows members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia executing wounded Syrian rebels who were captured when the Syrian town of al-Qusair was recaptured in June by the Syrian regime forces backed by Hezbollah’s army.
The battle over al-Qusair marked the first publically declared engagement of Hezbollah in the Syrian conflict, with group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah vowing not to allow Syrian rebels take Syrian towns bordering Lebanon.
The video is expected to revive tensions in Lebanon between the Shiite Hezbollah and Sunni Islamists supporting the Syrian uprising.
Lebanese journalist Lokman Sleem said the video further indicts Hezbollah and “confirms that the group’s intervention in Syria wasn’t in the name of Allah but in the name of Iran and its interests.”
But Lebanese political analyst Kassem Kassir defended Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria saying that it “protected Lebanon from the repercussions of war” and sided with the Syrian people against “extremist groups.”
He said Syria is a strategic passage of military aid flowing from Iran to Hezbollah, and that the militia group would not allow the supply routes to be controlled by its foes –the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He pointed out that the video’s authenticity cannot be confirmed and that Nasrallah previously pledged to respect to the moral rule of war, a claim Journalist Sleem rejected.
Sleem said Hezbollah fighters previously exhibited and offered for sale in northern Lebanon the boots of dead Syrian rebels.