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Hezbollah’s Battles Raise Questions About its Long-Term Prospects, But Not Short-Term Support

Hezbollah, Baalbek, Lebanon
Hezbollah, Baalbek, Lebanon. Photo: yeowatzup/flickr.

Hezbollah’s narrative is shifting now that it has entered into Syria’s civil war and taken the side of one Arab party against another, said Thanassis Cambanis, author of A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel. “Here is the Lebanese Party of God, whose raison d’être is to fight Israel, suddenly turning its firepower on a group of Islamist Sunni Arabs,” he said. Last week saw a worrying example of the sectarian tensions worsening in Lebanon, when 40 people were killed in clashes between the Lebanese army—apparently aided by Hezbollah—and Sunni militants in Sidon.

“Essentially, [Hezbollah’s] Sunni counterparts—their brethren—are being put in the same enemy box as the Jewish state,” Cambanis said.