A recent report by the news agency AFP, based on interviews with Hezbollah Lebanon members, reveals details of the training programmes that the group’s fighters undergo before going to fight in Syria: “Initial training for those who pass scrutiny of their religious credentials and background checks, is carried out in Lebanon, where courses last from 40 days to three months. Additional training is provided in Iran for about two months, with a focus on heavy weaponry and preparing members for command positions.”
This experience is then also conveyed to the Syrian regime forces, whom Hezbollah fighters criticise as being “woefully unprepared”. The AFP report quotes one Hezbollah fighter saying the Syrian army soldiers “have no experience in urban warfare or how to deal with a guerrilla force, so we lead the way in battle and have trained them on how to conduct themselves and use certain weapons.”
Hezbollah Lebanon is believed to have about 5,000 fighters in Syria at any given time, with thousands more preparing to join them. The group has been actively recruiting among the Shia community in Lebanon for “resistance fighters” for the “Syria front”.
These new revelation corroborate previous admissions by some Iranian officials that Syrian and Hezbollah fighters are being trained by Sepah Pasdaran commanders on Iranian soil (see http://www.naameshaam.org/en/iranian-mp-revealing-details-of-irans-military-support-of-syrian-regime-against-national-interests/). Both fly in the face of the Iranian government’s claims that it is not interfering in Syria militarily but is only sending ‘advisors’.
More importantly, they provide further evidence of the Iranian regime’s direct complicity in the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian regime forces and the militias fighting alongside them in Syria.
The whole Iranian chain of command, not just the Syrian regime one, will one day be brought to justice – from the lowest-ranking Sepah commander who is training Hezbollah fighters on how to kill Syrians, to the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, on whose orders all this is happening.
And let us not forget the real motives behind Hezbollah’s and the Iranian regime’s involvement in Syria: Ayatollah Khamenei wants Bash al-Assad in power at any price in oder to secure Iranian arms shipments via Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and in order to have his nuclear bomb one day. Meanwhile, Iranian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Syrian Shiites are dying in Syria so that Ayatollah Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani (the chief of Sepah Qods, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards body in charge of controlling Hezbollah and other ‘special operations’ outside Iran) can consolidate their repressive rule.