The insurgent leader said that his forces will take part in any future conflict with Israel alongside Hezbollah. The statement comes on the heels of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledging Shiite forces from around the Middle East and South Asia would be involved.
As the offensive enters its third day, Hezbollah has claimed several advances on both sides of the Lebanon-Syria border.
While Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri claims that the Lebanese military is not coordinating with Syria or Hezbollah near Arsal, various reports from on the ground say otherwise.
The State Department says there “are reportedly about 7,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria.” They have been deployed to the country to bolster Bashar al Assad’s regime.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies abroad on Friday commemorated Qods (Jerusalem) Day, an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan and established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to express support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel. The regime has not shied away from reiterating its call for Israel’s destruction during the annual event.
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that two men, Ali Kourani and Samer El Debek, had been arrested and charged with carrying out various missions on behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization. The IJO serves as Hizballah’s external operations wing, carrying out clandestine missions on behalf of Iran around the world. The complaints allege that Kourani and El Debek were both members of the IJO, which is ultimately controlled by Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who in turn reports “directly” to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The US military noted that it does not seek a fight against pro-Syrian regime militias, but its forces will continue to defend themselves if threatened.
The strike against pro-Syrian government militias is the second in the past month. The US military is training Free Syrian Army-branded militias in the area to battle the Islamic State.