Iran’s Hizbullah sends more troops to help Assad storm Aleppo, fight Sunnis
NICOSIA — The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has been sending fighters to Syria to bolster the latest offensive by President Bashar Assad against Sunni rebels.
Lebanese security sources said hundreds of Iranian-trained Hizbullah fighters crossed into Syria to help the Assad regime quell the Sunni revolt. The sources said the fighters come from elite Hizbullah units and were deployed in central Syria.
“Assad desperately needs more people to sustain operations against the rebels, and Iran is helping out, mostly through Hizbullah,” a source said. On July 27, the Lebanese daily An Nahar reported that Hizbullah sent fighters from its Unit 910, deemed a combat force, to Syria. The newspaper said members of Unit 910 were fighting together with the Syrian Army in Homs, Qusair and Rastan.
Hizbullah is believed to have deployed up to 7,000 troops in Syria.
Most of the Shi’ite militia has been based in Zabadani, which contains a large facility of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The sources said Hizbullah was also using its fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance missions against the Sunni rebels. Earlier this month, an Iranian-origin Mirsad-1 UAV crashed outside the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek near the Syrian border.
An Nahar said Hizbullah had installed an explosive payload on the UAV to test its combat capabilities. The newspaper said the flight sought
to determine whether Mirsad could be programmed to blow up pre-selected ground targets.