Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement reportedly decided to send within hours on Sunday 400 more fighters to Syria’s Aleppo area, a battleground where it has suffered heavy losses fighting alongside Syrian government forces against the rebels who united to break Assad’s siege of Aleppo.
A Syrian military academy in the heart of Aleppo made for a bold, even reckless target for opposition forces trying to break a devastating siege, but the rebels gambled on a double advantage: surprise and suicide bombers.
Soon the rebels were sharing pictures of abandoned artillery and a smashed portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on Twitter, flaunted as triumphant proof that the army was routed and opposition forces were within a few hundred metres of their besieged comrades.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said last month:
“We are facing a new wave…of projects of war against Syria which are being waged in northern Syria, particularly in the Aleppo region.”
“The defense of Aleppo is the defense of the rest of Syria, it is the defense of Damascus, it is also the defense of Lebanon, and of Iraq,” he said.
“We will increase our presence in Aleppo,” he said. “Retreat is not permissible.”
Shi’ite, Iranian-backed Hezbollah has long supported President Bashar al-Assad against mostly Sunni insurgents.
Aleppo has been a focus of intensified fighting in the months since peace talks in Geneva broke down and a ceasefire deal brokered by Washington and Moscow unraveled. Russia intervened in the five-year-old conflict in September with an air campaign to support Assad.
Hezbollah reportedly lost in the Aleppo dramatic attack Abu Eassa , who is considered one of their top commanders in the area.
According to Ahmad Ramadan, an opposition spokesman most of the Syrian regime troops fled after the attack by the rebels and Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighters found themselves alone in the battle .
Ramadan also told al Sharq al Awsat newspaper : Also all the other Shiite militia elements from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan fled the scene .