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Hezbollah torn between its local and regional roles

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem for Al-monitor– On Jan. 17, the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, Hezbollah’s political wing in the Lebanese parliament, held its regular meeting and said in a statement that the meeting was mostly dedicated to discussing the national draft laws, in particular the electoral law.

However, the most remarkable thing about the bloc’s statement was its position on four regional issues, in addition to the local matter of the draft laws: offering condolences for the death of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; condemning Bahraini authorities for executing three young men and renewing support for the Bahraini Shiite uprising; condemning the silence of international human rights organizations over the rebels in Wadi Barada near Damascus cutting drinking water to millions of Syrians; and condemning the US-Saudi aggression against the Yemeni people.

The bloc’s stances vis-a-vis the regional issues are not something new for Hezbollah since Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has had a say about the Arab and Islamic issues in the past. However, the bloc’s statement raises an old question again: Is Hezbollah a Lebanese group or has it become a regional institution taking political stances regarding every regional and international development? What is its military, logistic, advisory and training role in certain countries, namely Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen? How could the Lebanese party reconcile its political local role of resisting the Israeli occupation and aggression, with its growing regional role, which raises the concerns of Israel, the West and the neighboring Arab countries?

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/lebanon-hezbollah-resistance-military-regional-role.html#ixzz4ZDkOEevf

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