Report: Hezbollah Fighters Are Deserting Their Posts Amid Offensive in Syria
Hezbollah fighters in Syria and their allies on the ground have apparently been deserting their posts, Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya reported on Wednesday citing recordings from the field.
In one recording, a supposed Hezbollah commander is heard saying, “Four left in the beginning and didn’t return … and now two left to bring back more fighters but didn’t return either.”
The voice adds, “Let somebody come and stop my talking and let me lead the battle from here, not from behind some device in a far-off place.”
Another voice then asks, “These seven people, are they friends?”
The first speaker responds, “correct, seven [fighters] left and did not return.”
The second then asks, “Why did you let them leave the area?” to which the first responds, “they took a machine gun with them, what was I supposed to do? They won’t listen to anyone.”
The second fighter then warns the first against allowing anyone else to leave the area because, “there is blood on the ground.”
Al Arabiya said it could not verify the location or date of the recording.
The revelation comes in the wake of conflicting reports emanating out of the Syrian city of Zabadani, which is located in the strategically important Qalamoun mountains.
Reports in recent days have indicated that Hezbollah and the Syrian Army have mounted a major offensive in the area, to dislodge any opposition forces located there.
Pro-Hezbollah and Iranian state-run media outlets have been claiming Hezbollah has achieved lightning victories over opposition forces in Zabadani, though Al Arabiya and other Arab news outlets say the group has met stubborn resistance from opposition forces, slowing or even halting the Lebanese group’s advance.