Hezbollah Chief: Syria to Supply ‘Game-Changing’ Arms

Militia Aims to Help Syria Retake Golan Heights

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has reported that Syria is going to supply his militia with “game-changing” weapons in response to last week’s Israeli attacks, saying it was a “strategic reaction” to the strikes.

Nasrallah went on to say that Hezbollah would commit forces to the recapture of the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights, which Israel seized in 1967. Israel has annexed the territory (as of 1981), but that claim is not generally recognized across the world.

The Hezbollah leader’s comments add to already soaring tensions between Israel and Syria in the wake of the weekend attacks, and suggest that more backing from Hezbollah is likely to be Syria’s near-term reaction to the strikes on Damascus, which killed at least 42.

Hezbollah has long-standing ties to Syria’s Assad government, and Israeli officials have claimed the attacks were aimed at preventing arms transfers to them. The reaction, at least per Nasrallah, is to give them much more advanced arms than they would’ve conceivably gotten in the first place.

Conspicuously absent from Nasrallah’s comments was any commitment of additional Hezbollah forces to the Syrian Civil War. So far Hezbollah has committed troops to protecting border villages with large Lebanese populations, as well as religiously significant Shi’ite sites.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.