Hezbollah movement leader Hassan Nasrallah has today announced that he plans significant new deployments of fighters into northern Syria’s Aleppo Province to fight against what he described as “thousands” of Sunni militants who have entered the area recently from neighboring Turkey.
Nasrallah offered rare admissions of significant casualties in the fighting, and presented the fighting in Aleppo as the key to the civil war. That’s been the case for officials on both sides throughout the war, which has left the city of Aleppo virtually destroyed in years of intense, inconclusive fighting.
Hezbollah has been heavily involved throughout the Syrian Civil War, backing the Assad government against Sunni factions, and Nasrallah insisted the fate of Aleppo would ultimately be the fate of Damascus and, by extension, the fate of Lebanon.
Hezbollah’s involvement has been controversial within Lebanon, seen as drawing unwelcome attention to the smaller country, and at times provoking attacks by ISIS and al-Qaeda in Lebanese territory seen as pro-Hezbollah.