Mon 18 Jun 2018

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Russia Threatens to Dwarf “Hezbollah” in Syria

A Syrian solider and a member of “Hezbollah” Lebanese party (Lefigaro)

A Syrian solider and a member of “Hezbollah” Lebanese party (Lefigaro)

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The cracks in the Russian-Iranian duet started to resurface in the past a few days, following years of a coalition that aimed at a joint prospect, protecting the Syrian regime and its Head Bashar al-Assad.

After a series of political statements on the part of Russian officials, on top of whom is the Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Iranian presence in Syria, Moscow accelerated its military pace on the ground.

Moscow’s intention to dwarf Iran’s and its Lebanese partner, “Hezbollah”, in Syria are shown to Iran, the alley, before the shared enemies of their former alliance. In the latest meeting that joined the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin in Sochi, the latter stressed the foreign forces’ need to pull-out from Syria, referring to “Hezbollah” and Iran’s forces, a statement that the Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev affirmed.

 

Russian Military Movement in al-Qusayr

The political Russian statements had a military sequel to them, as they were followed by Russian-Israeli military meetings, through which the two sides arrived at an agreement, providing for the necessity of Assad’s recapture of Southern Syria at the expense of the opposition factions, on the condition that Iranian forces withdraw from the area tentatively before they would leave Syria entirely.

In a pulse-taking step and to reassure Israel, Russia has already started taking action on the ground; it spread soldiers in the area of al-Qusayr, western countryside of Homs, and took over three positions, on Monday, June 4. This enticed a dispute with “Hezbollah,” according to the regional coalition, backing the Syrian regime, officials who “Reuters” Agency has quoted.

An official, who is a military leader, told the Agency that the Russian forces spread in the areas near the Lebanese borders in a “unilateral step” and without any coordination with the regime’s allies and the forces backing it. Hezbollah expressed objection to the step and the situation was resolved by the control of Assad’s forces, from “Division 11”, over the positions in which Russians have spread.

A second official said that “the Resistance Axis is examining the situation after the uncoordinated Russian action,” while both Iran and “Hezbollah” refuse Moscow’s demand, as to retreat from the al-Dabaa military airport and the bases in the western and southern western countryside of Homs according to the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,” which stressed that “Hezbollah” has not withdrawn and that only media reports mentioned the issue without any official statements.

Enab Baladi has not been able to verify the accuracy of the information reported by the observatory.

 

 “Nasrallah” Challenges the World

The silence of the Syrian regime and its officials in response to the Russian movements, for they have ignored the Russian-Israeli deal concerning Iran and “Hezbollah”, was met by the Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary party “Hezbollah” Hassan Nasrallah’s clear and unequivocal challenge to Russia in the televised speech he gave on Quds Day, Friday June 5.

Nasrallah said that the party has entered Syria for two reasons; the first centralizes over its belief that what is happening there is “a universal conspiracy targeting the Resistance Axis”; the second is that the intervention was demanded and approved by the Syrian leadership, pointing out that the party has no special project in Syria from which it will depart only by a request from the government of the Syrian regime.

Concerning the Russian calls for the departure of foreign forces and the military movement in  al-Qusayr, Nasrallah challenged Russia saying that “if the whole world was to try and impose the departure from Syria on us, no one could get us out.”

Syria is about to witness the writing of a new chapter called “Yesterday’s Allies, Today’s Enemies” which aim to enhance Russia’s presence and its economic interests in Syria through the reconstruction file, since the political solution that Moscow seeks and rushes has crystallized by forcing a cease fire throughout Syria and the formation of a committee to examine the possibility of conducting modifications to the Syrian constitution by applying pressure to al-Assad and the opposition.

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