Hezbollah channels European mercenaries to Syria February 21, 2014 12:21 AM
By Antoine Ghattas Saab The Daily Star Hezbollah members parade in Teffahta
during a ceremony commemorating three slain Hezbollah leaders, Imad
Mughniyeh, Abbas Musawi and Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. (The
Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari) Hezbollah members parade in Teffahta during a
ceremony commemorating three slain Hezbollah leaders, Imad Mughniyeh, Abbas
Musawi and Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. (The Daily
European mercenaries are being recruited with the help of Hezbollah to join
Bashar Assad's forces in the war in Syria, security sources said.
March 14 officials received security information about new Eastern European
mercenaries arriving in batches at the Rafik Hariri International Airport on
their way to Syria to fight alongside President Bashar Assad's regime.
According to the one Eastern European country's intelligence unit, most of
these fighters have professional military experience and have fought in
According to well-informed sources, last January saw the arrival of the
first of these batches, which included approximately 23 fighters, who then
traveled in vans belonging to Hezbollah to Chtaura and then on to Nabi Sheet
in east Lebanon. The leader of the group also held a meeting with a
Hezbollah military official, Habib M., known as Abu Hussein, who hails from
the town of Ali al-Nahri in the Bekaa Valley. The fighters then headed to
the Syrian town of Serghaya near Damascus.
The second batch arrived at Rafik Hariri International Airport individually
so as not to draw attention to themselves. This group included approximately
11 fighters, three of whom hailed from Russia's southern Dagestan province.
The sources confirmed that these Eastern European fighters wear Hezbollah
military uniforms as well as yellow bands on their heads to show their
loyalty. The sources also revealed that Eastern European company M Security
Group, one of the most prominent organizations of its kind in the region,
recruited the fighters specifically to send them to Syria to fight alongside
the Syrian regime for a large monthly salary as well as insurance for their
According to the sources, an Eastern European officer known as Maximov is
currently in a Damascus suburb in which Hezbollah is fighting the Syrian
rebels, from where he handles and coordinates some of the cells working
under his leadership and Hezbollah's fighters.
Conversely, three months ago, several militant Islamist groups that count
both Arabs and Europeans among their ranks joined the Islamic State of Iraq
and Greater Syria (ISIS) to participate in the Syrian civil war, according
to information obtained by security sources.
The sources revealed that a number of the groups have recently entered
Lebanon legally and are now waiting to connect with fundamentalist networks
across the country. They have largely been flooding to the country's
Palestinian refugee camps, specifically the Taamir neighborhood of Ain
al-Hilweh in the southern city of Sidon, where the network's leaders are
coordinating terrorist activities.
According to a European intelligence report, some 5,000 European citizens
have joined hard-line groups in Syria and Iraq to conduct "jihad." Sources
close to Hezbollah confirmed that not only were these figures true, but also
that European intelligence officers sent a delegation to Syria to meet with
high-ranking security officials and follow up on the militants' files. What
emerged is that there is intense coordination occurring between these
hard-line groups and terrorist cells operating in some European countries.
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)