Iranian-backed Hezbollah is leveraging its growing global network to launder huge amounts of money, traffic weapons, and engage in a long list of illicit activities that are increasingly overlapping with the work of Latin American narcos.
The Syrian military has taken full control of Deir Ezzour, while Iraqi troops and Iranian supported militias ejected the Islamic State from Al Qaim.
The State Department announced today that it is offering rewards for information concerning the whereabouts of two senior Hezbollah operatives. One of the two, Talal Hamiyah, is the head of Hezbollah’s External Security Organization, which oversees worldwide terrorist plots. The other, Fuad Shukr, “played a central role” in the Oct. 1983 Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. That suicide bombing helped inspire a generation of Shiite and Sunni jihadists.
After pro-Syrian regime forces broke the siege of Deir Ezzor city this month, Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet Al Mayadeen released a rare interview with Hezbollah field commander “al Haj Abu Mustafa,” crediting the gray-bearded, southern Lebanese native with playing a key role in leading the defense against the Islamic State.
An Iranian-controlled Afghan Shia militia advertises its role in the battle for Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.
Hezbollah forces and its militia allies can be seen parading in the streets of Deir Ezzor after lifting the siege of the city. Syrian regime soldiers, who had been under the siege since 2014, praise Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah for their role in the operation.
Israel struck a suspected chemical weapons facility near Masyaf, Syria earlier today. The facility may have been run by the Syrian regime’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which has been sanctioned by the US government for its role in producing chemical weapons and the means to deploy them.
The Shiite jihadists were freed as part of a ceasefire deal with Sunni jihadists in the Lebanon-Syria border region.