Hezbollah opens Latakia office, recruiting dozens of regime officers
06-05-2015: The Tehran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah has officially opened an office on March 8th Street in Latakia in one of the regime stronghold city’s most affluent neighbourhoods, already recruiting dozens of regime officers, troops and Alawite supporters of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
A source close to the regime’s ‘Desert Hawks Brigade,’ led by Ayman Jaber, a relative of Assad, confirmed in a statement to Souria.net that “Hezbollah is currently working on rehabilitating the military units in the Syrian leadership and in the Shiite community in particular.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the regime insider said, “Any top [regime] officer can now join Hezbollah; they won’t be linked to the military or any other militia, and the party will take care of all the expenses and procedures facilitating affiliation.”
Although many Shiite pro-regime militias and Baath party members in the coastal area have been linked closely to Hezbollah, the party has not previously had any office or major, open military presence there, with the new development marking a significant departure from previous policy, more especially since the militia has opened its office in one of the city’s most prestigious neighbourhoods.
A resident of Latakia who gave his name as Abu Adel told Souria.Net that Hezbollah is making an effort to market itself as a defender of Christians which the regime and Tehran have consistently and falsely claimed are in danger should the regime fall. “Hezbollah wants to deliver a message to Christians through its presence in the neighbourhood that it will defend them in future when the regime collapses,” he said. This is despite the fact that Christians are routinely persecuted and imprisoned in Iran for their faith.
Activists in Latakia told Souria. Net, “Hezbollah is trying to clone a similar model of itself on the Syrian coast through recruiting people to transport weapons illegally. Their task isn’t to defend themselves, but be an Iranian extension, with the party bringing in a group of Alawites still serving in the regime army, enlisting them and providing them with logistical and military support and linking them to the party’s Lebanese leadership, which is concentrated in Iran, with orders being issued from there.”
Report and photo from: Souria.Net