Hizbullah in action

A few days ago, some Lebanese policemen thought they could just arrest Hizbullah members who failed to stop at a checkpoint. Soon after, their office was besieged by a hundred or so of the bearded ones and the arrestees were freed. Just to stress their point and make clear the absolute unacceptability of the police action, Hizbullah then proceeded to themselves arrest a cop and interrogate him: ‘The policeman told his superiors later that Hizbullah officials set him free only because he is Shiite.’ Notice, by the way, how the ‘two detainees’ of the first article in an-Nahar have in the second article suddenly been transformed into ‘two wanted criminals, who remain at large’. Meanwhile, Nicholas Blanford reports in CSM on the creation by Hibullah of ‘saraya’ or batallions of Sunni, Druze and Christian allied militiamen – including even former members of the Israeli-allied SLA – who will fight alongside them to stave off the next Israeli attack. ‘New tactics are being taught, including how to “seize and hold” positions, a requirement that Hizbullah’s guerrilla fighters – traditionally schooled in hit-and-run methods – never needed before. One local commander in south Lebanon said that Hizbullah had fought a defensive war in 2006. “Next time, we will be on the offensive and it will be a totally different kind of war,” he says. Jawad says that the next war will be “fought more in Israel than in Lebanon,” one comment of many from various fighters that suggest Hizbullah is planning commando raids into northern Israel. Hizbullah admits that its rocket arsenal has increased since 2006 and it has the ability to strike anywhere inside Israel. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the party’s leader, in February said that Hizbullah had evolved into an “unparalleled new school” that is part guerrilla force and part conventional army.”

On the creation of sunni militias by the Hariri faction, meanwhile, read Delphine Minoui in Le Figaro:(…D)epuis l’assassinat de l’ex-premier ministre Rafic Hariri, en 2005, (…) une myriade de sociétés de sécurité privées a vu le jour. Officiellement, elles ont pour rôle de faire la chasse aux voitures piégées. Mais certaines d’entre elles, dirigées pour la plupart par d’ex-généraux sunnites de l’armée, se sont développées comme un contrepoids au Parti de Dieu. «Notre tâche consiste à faire de la surveillance de quartier», se défend Saad al-Mansour. En fait, leur mission est beaucoup plus large. «Tout est parti d’une formation à la défense civile dispensée à 600 jeunes au chômage que Saad Hariri voulait aider financièrement en les embauchant comme gardes. Mais avec l’augmentation des demandes d’embauche et la dégradation de la situation sécuritaire, il a été décidé de créer la compagnie Secure Plus il y a un an et demi», raconte-t-il. Deux sections différentes furent alors mises en place: «La première, chargée de la protection d’hôtels et de centres commerciaux, dispose de gardes en uniforme. Et la deuxième, plus informelle, s’appuie aujourd’hui sur un contingent de milliers de jeunes volontaires en civil, répartis à travers le pays, et payés environ 300 dollars par mois pour faire des rondes, de jour et de nuit», confie un membre de Secure Plus, qui préfère taire son nom.

One thought on “Hizbullah in action

  1. Regarding Nicholas Blanford’s observations, the creation of brigades comprised of other sects is something that HA claims to have done before. According to HA, the formation of similar saraya called, “The Lebanese Brigades for Resisting the Israeli Occupation”, was announced back in November of ’97 and they became active in March of ’98. In a 2006 Al Manar documentary, Nasrallah stated that the brigades are not currently active, but can be activated if necessary. Perhaps these are the same brigades Blanford mentions, but they’ve been reactivated?

    It’s worth noting though that the formation of the brigades back then may have been more of a political stunt put on by the group to build its nationalist credentials than a move motivated by military necessity. In fact, it came shortly after members of HA, including Nasrallah’s own son Hadi, and the Lebanese Army were killed in related engagements with the IDF in September of ’97.

    There’s an Al-Manar documentary that mentions these events and the formation of the Lebanese Brigades called, “The Guardians of Sovereignty”. It’s available online on one of HA’s websites for those who want to check it out:
    http://www.wa3ad.org/index.php?show=sounds&action=play&id=331

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