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Hezbollah is operating inside Syria’s borders, with about 1,500 of its agents providing “extensive support” for the Syrian regime, The Times has reported, lending strength to an earlier Al Arabiya report, which cited leaked Syrian files, that Hezbollah was actively involved in the Syrian unrest from the early months of the uprising.

Hezbollah is long believed to be providing ground support for the regime of incumbent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in its bid to quash the national uprising that began in March of 2011.

Sources close to the Lebanese- Shiite Hezbollah and members of Syria’s rebel alliance – the Free Syria Army – as well as Western diplomats, have stated Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian crisis.

This is a claim Hezbollah has repeatedly denied.

Despite the attempt to distance themselves from such allegations, a senior Hezbollah commander was buried in the east Lebanese Beqaa valley this week, Syrian rebels claim he was killed in their country, The Times reported.

The Hezbollah affiliated website, moqawama.org, claimed the commander “died while performing his jihadist duties,” without specifying why or how he was killed.

On Saturday, Al Arabiya released another batch of top secret Syrian files it obtained from opposition sources. Saturday’s files revealed that Hezbollah had sent 250 “support personnel” to the Syrian city of Aleppo in May 2011. At the time, Aleppo did not yet join the uprising and was still generally calm and under control; therefore it made sense for the Assad’s regime to foreign support in there.

Eman Eddin al-Rasheed, head of the Political Bureau in the Syrian National Rally, said despite that the regime had built up an army in a way that ensures its absolute loyalty in the most difficult times; the regime still harbored fears and paranoia. Assad was afraid his army might fail him one day, and that is why he did not hesitate to seek help from Hezbollah “mercenaries” from the early months of the revolution

In August 2012, Al Arabiya aired a video showing a man named Hassan Salim al-Meqdad believed to be one of Hezbollah’s commanders under arrest by Syrian opposition fighters.

The Lebanese guerrilla movement denied any of its commanders were killed and called the reports “fabrications.”

Al Arabiya

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