Hezbollah is joining a formal alliance with Russia, Iran, and the Syrian regime – Business Insider
A leading pro-Hezbollah daily claimed on Tuesday that the party has joined a new counter-terror alliance with Moscow and that Russia will take part in military operations alongside the Syrian army and Hezbollah.
Al-Akhbar’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin wrote that secret talks between Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq had resulted in the birth of the new alliance, which he described as “the most important in the region and the world for many years.”
“The agreement to form the alliance includes administrative mechanisms for cooperation on [the issues of] politics and intelligence and [for] military [cooperation] on the battlefield in several parts of the Middle East, primarily in Syria and Iraq,” the commentator said, citing well-informed sources.
“The parties to the alliance are the states of Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq, with Lebanon’s Hezbollah as the fifth party,” he also said, adding that the joint-force would be called the “4+1 alliance” – a play on words referring to the P5+1 world powers that negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran.
The Al-Akhbar article came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow over the latter country’s major military build-up in Syria.
Following their meeting, Netanyahu announced that Russia and Israel had agreed to “a joint mechanism for preventing misunderstandings between our forces,” and reiterated that Tel Aviv’s commitment to preventing weapon transfers from Syria to Hezbollah.
Putin, in turn, told Netanyahu that the Syrian regime was in “no position” to open a new front against Israel, which has conducted regular airstrikes in Syria targeting weapon transfers as well as in retaliation to cross-border rocket fire.
Al-Akhbar says Russia coordinating with Hezbollah, Kurdish forces
Despite the reported agreement between Tel Aviv and Moscow, Al-Akhbar’s editor-in-chief said that Russian forces were coordinating with Hezbollah in Syria.
“[Several] days ago, Russian officers accompanied by specialists… from the Russian forces arriving in Syria toured a number of positions in Hama’s Al-Ghab Plain area and carried out a field survey accompanied by Syrian Army and Hezbollah officers,” Amin claimed.
“Similar tours took place in the [areas] around Idlib and in the mountain range overlooking Latakia.”
“It has become clear that the Russian force is made up of various specializations, from air force [units] to units specialized in sniper operations and artillery officers, as well as survey and observation teams.”
He also made the startling claim that Russia will “play a prominent role on the ground and will participate in combat on the battlefield with their advanced weaponry by leading operations and taking part in artillery shelling, air [raids] and otherwise, alongside the Syrian army and Hezbollah.”
“The Russians have also set up a coordination process with Kurdish forces and parties,” the article said.
“A Russian military delegate paid a secret visit to a number of Kurdish military commanders in Hasakeh and inspected areas of confrontation between the YPG and the armed groups.”