Hezbollah ‘Settlers’ Changing Syria’s Demography Under Iranian Direction
Hezbollah “settlers” are reportedly replacing the native Syrian population as part of a conscious plan to change the country’s demographics.
Under Iranian direction, the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group has been fighting on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011. It also dominates southern Lebanon, where it has established a massive terrorist infrastructure in order to threaten Israel.
According to a column in the Lebanese paper Al-Nahar written by Ahmad Ayyash and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Hezbollah’s “involvement in the Syria war is not confined to military action aimed at propping up the Syrian regime. [Its goals] extend much further than that, and have to do with an Iranian settlement project whose implementation began several years ago. The aim [of this project] is changing the demography [of Syria] by settling [it with members of] Iran-backed [Shi’ite] militias from Afghanistan, Lebanon, and other countries in the region.”
Ayyash accused the world of “ignoring the ongoing plan of demographic cleansing, as part of which tens of thousands of Syrians were transferred from their homes in Ghouta to northern Syria several days ago, and thousands of others left eastern Al-Qalamun, near Damascus, [as part of a move] ‘brokered by Russia,’”
“[These] tens of thousands of Syrians left their ancestral homes,” added Ayyash, “where their families had been living for generations.”
Ayyash attributed this policy directly to Iran, which is Hezbollah’s chief financier and uses the group as a proxy to influence events in Lebanon and Syria.
“The world is oblivious [to the fact] that Iran has been acting vigorously to fill the demographic vacuum [left by these Syrians],” Ayyash wrote, with Hezbollah “acting as the chief executive arm of this [project].”
Hezbollah, Ayyash asserted, was actively preventing Syrian refugees from returning to their homes. “Several weeks ago,” he says, “Al-Nahar received information that people from Al-Qusayr had appealed to the Syrian regime for permission to return to their properties in that town, and had received permission to do so. But when they reached the town, they found themselves facing Hezbollah militiamen, who are still militarily occupying the town, and who ordered them back, saying: ‘Whoever gave you permission [to return is welcome] to give you back your property.’”
The ambitions of Hezbollah’s settlement project are large, Ayyash noted. “According to the information [we received], Hezbollah is investing in developing thousands of acres in this area, known for its fertile fields, and will directly reap the profits,” he said.
“One of the most disturbing aspects of the Iranian plan in Syria,” he added, “was reported by our colleague, [Lebanese journalist] Randa Taqi Al-Din, in the daily Al-Hayat. She cited French sources, who assessed that Hezbollah will transform from the ‘Lebanese Hezbollah’ into the ‘Syrian Hezbollah,’ because its members are currently settling in Syria along with the Iranians.”