Hizbullah has increased the size and scope of its assistance to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as he fights to retain his position as leader of Syria in the face of a wide-ranging rebellion. According to a report in Thursday’s Washington Post, Hizbullah has sent special advisors to Syria in order to assist Assad in beating back rebel forces.
Official sources in the Lebanese government said that the assistance Hizbullah is providing Assad was increased after a major attack on Assad’s forces on July 18. Several high ranking Syrian military officials were killed in that attack, among them Assad’s brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat.
The sources said that Hizbullah has been offering not only advice, but also taking active part in the fighting against rebels. The sources added that more and more of the casualties on the Syrian side consist of Hizbullah recruits. There has been a marked increase in the number of funerals of young men in Hizbullah-controlled areas in southern Lebanon, they added, with families refusing to reveal the reasons for their death. That is because, they said, Hizbullah has demanded that the families keep the reasons for their death secret.
There have also been reports of Iranian soldiers and advisors in Syria as well, but it is not clear if they are taking part in the actual fighting.