Home News and Politics Hezbollah’s Astonishing and Controversial Track Record in War & Politics!

Hezbollah’s Astonishing and Controversial Track Record in War & Politics!

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Hezbollah’s Astonishing and Controversial Track Record in War & Politics!

Hezbollah: From Shadowy Militia to Political Powerbroker and Armed Non-State Actor

Hezbollah, a Shiite movement in Lebanon, has transformed over the past four decades from a shadowy militia into a political powerbroker and the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor. Supported by Iran, Hezbollah emerged in the chaos of the Lebanese civil war and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in the 1980s.

Since its formation, Hezbollah, also known as the “Party of God,” has received arms, training, and funding from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The group has adopted Iran’s revolutionary ideology and opposes foreign influence, particularly that of the United States and the West. Its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has called for the destruction of Israel and pledged allegiance to Iran’s supreme leader.

While Hezbollah has strong ties to Iran, it has also cultivated a reputation as a defender of Lebanon’s Shiite minority and an opponent of Israel’s military occupation. After the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was forced to withdraw from Lebanon in 1982, Hezbollah assumed the role of the primary resistance force against Israel and Western powers. Its campaign of suicide bombings against US and Israeli targets led to the withdrawal of US peacekeeping forces in 1984 and Israeli forces in 2000.

In addition to its military activities, Hezbollah became a political party in 1992 and has grown in popularity by addressing Shiite grievances and providing social services that the Lebanese state has failed to deliver. Nasrallah has served as the group’s secretary general since 1992 and has maintained close relationships with Iranian leaders.

Hezbollah’s history can be divided into several phases. In its first phase from 1982 to 1991, Hezbollah focused on defending Shiites and expelling Western and Israeli forces from Lebanon. In the second phase from 1992 to 2000, the group began participating in elections while continuing its armed resistance against Israel. The third phase from 2000 to 2005 saw Hezbollah claim victory after Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, but also faced criticism over its continued possession of weapons. The fourth phase from 2006 to 2012 marked a significant military escalation with Hezbollah engaging in a 34-day war with Israel. The fifth phase from 2012 to 2019 saw Hezbollah deeply involved in the Syrian civil war, fighting alongside Syrian forces and Iranian advisors. The sixth phase, starting in 2019, has been marked by domestic crises in Lebanon, including political instability, economic collapse, and public protests.

Hezbollah’s political wing, the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, has become a major power broker in Lebanese politics. The party has participated in multiple governments and holds ministerial positions. It has also formed alliances with other political parties, including Christian politicians, in what is known as the March 8 Alliance.

In terms of military capabilities, Hezbollah has grown into a formidable force with decades of operational experience. Iran has provided substantial support, including funding and weapons, enabling Hezbollah to build a diverse arsenal. The group has reportedly received assistance from Iran in upgrading its rockets to precision-guided missiles capable of striking deep into Israel. It has also developed a cyber unit with the help of the IRGC.

Hezbollah has been involved in numerous attacks and abductions, targeting US and Israeli interests. The group is responsible for bombings of US and French embassies in Lebanon, as well as attacks against peacekeepers and other military targets. Its activities have led to international indictments and sanctions.

Iran’s influence on Hezbollah is evident in its ideology, financing, and military support. The group’s close ties with Iran have allowed it to expand its regional activities, including intervention in the Syrian civil war and support for other Iranian proxies. Hezbollah’s arsenal and military capabilities pose a significant challenge to Israel and regional stability.

Despite its military might, Hezbollah has also sought to maintain a political presence and address the social and economic needs of its constituents. Its ability to provide social services and gain political support has contributed to its longstanding popularity among Lebanon’s Shiite community.

As of 2023, Hezbollah remains a powerful force in Lebanon, described as a “state within a state.” It operates its own political, military, and social services network while participating in the Lebanese parliament and government to further its interests. The group’s activities continue to shape the dynamics of Lebanon and the broader Middle East.

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