Crossing the rubicon : examining Hezbollah's Syrian intervention
Lye, Ian Chi Hsiung
Date of Issue2015
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has found itself increasingly entangled in the web of the Syrian conflict. Its growing presence in Syria has translated into an increasingly important factor in the conflict, especially as the movement's involvement has evolved from merely offering political backing and tactical advice to the Assad regime to sending substantial numbers of its own fighters to directly support Assad's forces in actual combat against Syrian rebels on the ground. With Hezbollah's support, the Assad regime has managed to avoid collapse and has started to reverse the tide by regaining control of several rebel-held areas in Syria. However, Hezbollah's intervention in Syria has not only had implications on the conflict in Syria, but also at home in Lebanon, where increasing sectarian tensions have threatened the country's security and political stability. Given the high stakes, Hezbollah's decision to intervene in Syria on the side of Assad was a substantial gamble on the group's part that has left it facing significant political and security challenges. This paper examines the strategic drivers for its involvement in Syria, as well as discusses the implications of Hezbollah's growing involvement in Syria. This paper posits that that while there are three main strategic drivers behind Hezbollah's military intervention in the Syrian conflict, Hezbollah's fear that the collapse of the Assad regime would lead to the emergence of a dominant and hostile Sunni power in, Syria, is the most critical and carries the most significant implications for the organization's future and Lebanon's security.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science