Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Iranians joining Hezbollah in key Syria battle


Iranians joining Hezbollah in key Syria battle, US says


Iranian fighters are joining Hezbollah in the ongoing battle for Al-Qusayr in Syria's Homs province.


Iranians are working alongside Hezbollah fighters to back Syrian troops battling to retake the rebel stronghold of Al-Qusayr amid fears of a civilian massacre, a US official said Tuesday.



"It is the most visible effort we have seen by Hezbollah to engage directly in the fighting in Syria as a foreign force, and we understand there are also Iranians up there," a senior State Department official told reporters.



His information was based on reports from commanders of the rebel Free Syrian Army, but he was unable to give any estimates of how many Hezbollah fighters or Iranians were involved, and what exact role the Iranians were playing.



"I don't know that they are directly involved in the fighting, but I don't think the people that I'm talking to know that themselves," the official told reporters travelling with US Secretary of State John Kerry.



"This is an important thing to note -- the direct implication of foreigners on Syrian soil for the regime," he cautioned on a conference call in Muscat.



Many opposition commanders had reported that forces from the powerful Shiite Lebanese movement Hezbollah "are directly engaged in fighting literally on the streets. They say that their men... are directly fighting against Hezbollah commanders."



"Iran's role and Hezbollah's role have grown substantially over the last couple of months," he warned ahead of a Friends of Syria meeting to be held in Jordan on Wednesday.



Observers have alleged that Hezbollah fighters were leading the battle for Al-Qusayr in Homs province, three days after the Syrian regime began an assault to regain control of the town.



The town is a key strategic prize as it sits on the main highway between Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, and also controls rebel supply routes from the mainly Sunni Muslim port of Tripoli in neighboring Lebanon.



"The world is watching this and we are watching this and we will know if they commit massacres.. and we will hold them accountable," the US official warned the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.



The Syrian opposition had voiced concerns that "when regime forces do go into Al-Qusayr, if they do capture it, that there will be retaliation against the civilian population," he added, stressing "there are still thousands of civilians in the city."



(F)AIR USE NOTICE: All original content and/or articles and graphics in this message are copyrighted, unless specifically noted otherwise. All rights to these copyrighted items are reserved. Articles and graphics have been placed within for educational and discussion purposes only, in compliance with "Fair Use" criteria established in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.

The principle of "Fair Use" was established as law by Section 107 of The Copyright Act of 1976. "Fair Use" legally eliminates the need to obtain permission or pay royalties for the use of previously copyrighted materials if the purposes of display include "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research." Section 107 establishes four criteria for determining whether the use of a work in any particular case qualifies as a "fair use". A work used does not necessarily have to satisfy all four criteria to qualify as an instance of "fair use". Rather, "fair use" is determined by the overall extent to which the cited work does or does not substantially satisfy the criteria in their totality. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. For more information go to:








No comments:

Post a Comment