U.S. Accuses Hezbollah of Aiding Syria’s Crackdown
The United States accused the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on Friday of deep involvement in the Syrian government’s violent campaign to crush the uprising there, asserting that Hezbollah has trained and advised government forces inside Syria and has helped to expel opposition fighters from areas within the country.
The American accusations, which were contained in coordinated announcements by the Treasury and State Departments announcing new sanctions against Syria, also accused Hezbollah of assisting operatives of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force in training Syrian forces inside Syria. A Treasury statement said the Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, had overseen those activities, which it called part of the Syria government’s “increasingly ruthless efforts to fight against the opposition.”
The accusations, which went beyond previous American claims about Hezbollah support for Syria’s government, seemed intended to counter Obama administration critics who say the White House is not doing enough to support the Syrian opposition now that diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict are paralyzed.
Some Hezbollah experts expressed considerable skepticism, however, saying the accusations should be approached with caution unless more evidence was presented.
Hezbollah involved in something that the US has an interest in and taking on a position against what's billed almost as a US puppet regime. Not a lot of evidence offered, however. Apparently little is needed.
In other contexts, Hezbollah's billed as part of the Lebanese government, and, well, it would be dangerous to take on such an entrenched group. Even with very good evidence that it's armed and supporting those hostile to another government.
I continue to be mildly amused by the asymmetry in the US's response to how Hezbollah is viewed when interacting with its neighbors.