Hezbollah Has a 2-Pronged Dilemma on Its Hands

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Hezbollah Has a 2-Pronged Dilemma on Its Hands

Media outlets affiliated with Syrian rebels on Sunday reported that the Hezbollah [terrorist] organization in recent days has moved hundreds of fighters from its elite "Raduan Brigades" to the country's north to fight alongside the Assad regime in Idlib province.

Hezbollah, according to London-based newspaper Al-Quds-Al-Arabi, dispatched 300 fighters to reinforce Syrian army troops safeguarding the M5 Highway between Aleppo and Latakia and the key town of Saraqib, which Hezbollah and the Assad regime managed to seize from insurgents in March. The reinforcements are part of a comprehensive battle plan the regime is preparing to reconquer Idlib province, the last remaining rebel stronghold in Syria.

According to reports, earmarking 300 fighters from the Raduan Brigades to the mission is significant because the entire force is estimated to consist of just hundreds of fighters. Despite the unit's successes on the ground, it also sustained heavy casualties during the battles for Idlib last February and March. The Turkish army mercilessly bombarded Hezbollah positions around Saraqib and a large number of officers and fighters were killed when the [terrorist] organization's local headquarters was bombed.

Turkey has buttressed its forces in the region and could retaliate, similar to half a year ago, by attacking regime and Hezbollah forces and by aiding the rebels. The impending regime offensive in Idlib could be prolonged and require Hezbollah to maintain a significant, consistent presence there, which will likely be bloody.

This leaves the organization vulnerable in any escalation with Israel, hundreds of kilometers from the Idlib front. In such a scenario, Hezbollah would rely heavily on its Raduan force and other battle-hardened fighters who are currently deployed in Idlib to help the Syrian regime accomplish its mission in the north.

Hezbollah, which has never been tested on two fronts simultaneously, is in a particularly tenuous position – especially in light of the incident on the Syrian border Monday morning – which could cause it to delay a response or avoid retaliating altogether, even if its own fighters were killed by the IDF.

Source: Israel Hayom