Hezbollah has informed Syrian authorities that it would not take part in any assaults on rebels inside Syria once the battle in the border town of Zabadani is over, diplomatic sources told The Daily Star.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said that once Hezbollah secured the Syria-Lebanon border with the fall of Zabadani, expected to happen soon, the mission of party fighters would be limited to defending their positions inside Syria.
The sources attributed Hezbollah’s decision to the fact that its numbers were limited, and that it must be prepared for a possible confrontation with Israel.
The sources also claimed that there was a joint operations room in Syria, comprised of Syrian regime officials, members of Hezbollah, officers from Russia and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and representatives of the Fatima Organization, a group established by Iran whose members are of various nationalities, mostly from Asia.
The same sources said that a senior Syrian officer had recently visited the battlefront in Zabadani. They added that Russia was providing the Syrian regime with advanced weaponry, mainly rockets, some of which have been received by Hezbollah.
Besides its funding from Iran, there have been reports that Hezbollah is also seeking the financial assistance of Lebanese businessmen in order to cover the increase in its expenditures resulting from its involvement in the war.
Hezbollah believes that taking Zabadani could be decisive in securing the border and preventing extremist groups from infiltrating Lebanon.
In May 2013, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced that his party had officially joined the Syrian war on the side of President Bashar Assad, with the aim of protecting the resistance and preventing the fall of the country into the hands of extremist groups.
Around two weeks later, the party drove Syrian rebels out of the strategic border town of Qusair.
In spring 2014, Hezbollah took over towns and cities in the Qalamoun region near the frontier. A year later it began an offensive against rebels who had withdrawn into the mountains.
By Hasan Lakkis
This story has been edited from the source material.