Hezbollah Resists ISIS Effort to Expand War Into Lebanon

PM Holds Emergency Meeting After Deadly Beirut Blast

ISIS’ most recent attack in Beirut, targeting a Shi’ite neighborhood in the south of the capital termed a “Hezbollah stronghold” is the latest indication yet of the group’s ongoing interest in expanding the Syrian Civil War into neighboring Lebanon, and its eagerness to foster sectarian unrest there.

The latest attacks killed 44 people and wounded over 200 others. Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam held an emergency meeting of the security cabinet today, though military officials said they’ve been on high alert and fought ISIS repeatedly for months now.

The Lebanese military, however, is relatively small and not particularly battle-hardened, which means that Hezbollah will likely be continuing to do the heavy fighting against ISIS.

Of course, Hezbollah’s own involvement inside Syria, where they’re backing the Assad government against ISIS, is itself a large part of why ISIS and other factions are so interested in spreading the war to Lebanon, and targeting Shi’ite neighborhoods under the assumption they are supportive of the Hezbollah movement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.