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A Hezbollah Series: The Origins – Part 1

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By Saed Teymuri, an economics student currently researching about the history of the Sino-Soviet Bloc as well as the Levant region.

The ideologues of the Zionist Entity have long dreamed of establishing a “Greater Israel” stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates. Such a vast area encompasses not only Egypt but also Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and of course Palestine. After “Israel” defeated the Arabs in 1948 and 1967, waves of Palestinians took refuge in South Lebanon

In 1975, what many call the “Lebanese Civil War” began, with Pan-Arabist Lebanese left, allied to the PLO (the generation of 1948 an 1967) fighting against the Mussolini-inspired fascist Phalange forces. Involved in the war was a predominantly Shiite Party, founded by Musa Sadr, and commanded by an Iranian physicist-turned-guerrillanamed Mostafa Chamran (who by the way, got his guerrilla training in Egypt).

Fearing that the chaos of the war and the rise of the pro-Palestinian far left in Lebanon would create the vacuum for “Israel” to take over Lebanon, Syria first sought to create a peace deal between the right wing forces (e.g. Phalange) and the left. These efforts failed, and so Syria stationed its troops, in a fight against the leftist forces in 1976.

In 1978, “Israel” invades Lebanon. In April of that year, the Phalange, which was initially fighting on Syria’s side, joined “Israel.” Syria then turned against the Lebanese Phalange and began to support the “moderate” forces among the Palestinians, so to drive out the “Israelis” and the Phalangists.

Soon after, “Israelis” had to temporarily retreat. According to several sources, in 1982, the Abu Nidal group – a militant group hostile to the PLO – allegedly with the backing of Iraqi intelligence is said to have assassinated Shlomo Argov, the “Israeli” ambassador to London. The goal of the Iraqi intel operation is said to have been to give “Israel” the excuse to invade Lebanon; as such, “Israel” gaining a foothold in Lebanon would help Saddam contain his chief rival and Syrian leader Hafez Al-Assad, from the Western front. Whether or not this piece of information is propaganda or real history, it is worth noting that this piece of information is based on declassified CIA sources, Al-Jazeera, and Western media outlets such as The Guardian.

At around that time, in Iran, the Shiite Islamists led by Ayataollah Khomeini had consolidated power domestically and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran’s main military apparatus had been established with the help of a former Iranian-Lebanese Amal Party guerrilla Mostafa Chamran.

Syria had established its hold over the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. During the early 1980s, the IRGC sent 5,000 troops to the Beqaa Valley, with the permission of the Syrians. Syrian leadership was apparently worried that Iran ‘s presence would provoke another fascist aggression by “Israel.” Tehran and Damscus however did agree that a strong, unified, and local anti-Zionist force has to be set up. In exchange for the presence of Iranian troops in Lebanon, Iran would give nine million tons of oil to Syria every year.

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Elias Sarkis, the Maronite President of Lebanon formed the Lebanese National Salvation Committee, incorporating Amal leader Nabi Berri into the government in collaboration with the Phalangists. Upset that Amal had betrayed the “Shiite cause,” the Party’s second in command Hussain Musawi split from Amal. Several of the Amal forces joined the IRGC in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley. From then on, several more Shiites were incorporated into the formation of a loose multi-tendency coalition of Shiite Islamists. The name of this new organization was Hezbollah – meaning The Party of God.

Initially, Hezbollah attacked military barracks and seized them for establishing its bases in the Ba’albek Region (similar to the tactics of Chairman Mao).

During the 1980s, Hezbollah gets accused of carrying out several plane operations: the 1985 hijacking of TWA Plane for the release of 700 Shiites from “Israeli” prisons. There were also the 1984 and 1988 plane hijackings, all of which Hezbollah is said to have not taken responsibility for.

Hezbollah was also accused of suicide car bombings against “Israeli” and American units – operations which the organization apparently denied as well.

In order to attract the support of the populace, Hezbollah would later provide social services for the Lebanese people in the South, providing them with education, healthcare, payment for the reconstruction of homes, and compensations for the damages done. This would help boost the popularity of Hezbollah among the Shias and the respect of some Christians and Sunnis. Hezbollah’s recruitment would increase.

For the next decades Hezbollah would emerge as the strongest anti-Zionist opposition force in Lebanon.

Read Part 2 here.

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Views expressed by Guest Authors are their own, and are not reflective of FRN or its editorial team. FRN publishes these for research and educational purposes only. The text is presented for these reasons alone, and absolutely not for purposes related to promoting any of the views expressed herein.

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