Faced with an ongoing civil war in Syria and needing someone to blame, the US turned its sights on Hezbollah today, saying the Lebanese-based faction is “directly assisting” the Assad regime in the conflict.
The statements charged Hezbollah with playing an “integral role” in training the Syrian military and claimed that they had provided “advice” to Assad regarding the ongoing fight with Western-backed rebels.
As a Shi’ite movement and the ruling party in Lebanon, Hezbollah retains close ties with Syria. Yet the charge of “training” seems odd, since one would not think the rag-tag militias of Hezbollah fighters, experienced primarily in fighting against invading forces, would have much insight for a professional army fighting against a domestic insurgency.
The US followed up the allegations by announcing a new round of sanctions against Hezbollah, notable primarily in that they don’t actually do anything. The sanctions forbid Americans from having ties with Hezbollah, but since they have been on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist list since the 1990’s, this ban had already been in place for decades.
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