November 28, 2006

NY Times: Hizbullah Training Mahdi Army

By Abu Kais

After Hamas in the Palestinian territories, and Somalian militias (though some doubt the report), Hizbullah is now said to be training the Mahdi Army militia in Iraq.

A New York Times report today quoted an "intelligence official" as saying Hizbullah, with Iranian guidance, has trained between 1,000 to 2000 Shia fighters who traveled to Lebanon via Syria. These fighters reportedly came to Lebanon learn about "Weapons, bomb-making, intelligence, assassinations, the gambit of skill sets".

In April, Hassan Nasrallah admitted to giving Palestinian militants "financial, political and media support."

The intelligence official said the training was part of a "strategic decision taken sometime over late winter or early spring by Damascus, Tehran, along with their partners in Lebanese Hezbollah, to provide more support to Sadr to increase pressure on the U.S."

The problem with Hizbullah has always been its incompatibility with the Lebanese system. The above report may need stronger evidence, but the fact that this party is working hard against the disengagement of Lebanon from regional struggles is evidence enough. Also, Hizbullah would not be able to refuse an order by their supreme leader in Iran to get involved in Iraq, Somalia or any other part of the world. They can't because they would be violating a religious duty.

I have quoted the following statement a couple of times on my blog. I think it sums up Hizbullah's attitude and mission pretty well.

“Today, the resistance became greater than the Lebanese scene, its influence on the moral and mobilization levels reaching beyond the country,” said Hizbullah MP Mohammad Raad during a Hizbullah "celebration" in Nabatiyeh on Monday.

Ironically, Raad, in the same speech, said his organization was “defending” Lebanon's "sovereign decision".

Posted by Abu Kais at November 28, 2006 7:09 AM
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